Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Katie Hims - Five Rachels

What if you could replace sad memories with happy ones? What if it was really easy, just as easy as popping a pill? In Katie Hims’ beautifully layered and sweetly funny psychological drama, Rachel Davies stars as Rachel Ridley, a perfectly ordinary woman who seems to have discovered memories that she didn’t used to have. She thinks she used to have them, but her doctor is very sure she didn’t. As Rachel tries to research what might be happening to her, she discovers the almost mystical nature of the brain… we’ve all breathed in the atoms of the dead, maybe Rachel could have picked up their stories too… or… maybe she’s really a replicant, like the Rachael in Blade Runner… 

Rachel Ridley ….. Rachel Davies
Rachel 2 …… Kika Markham
Dr Jones ….. Michael Bertenshaw
Girl in the newsagents ….. Sarah Ovens
Receptionist ….. Franchi Webb
Library customer ….. Christopher Harper

With thanks to Dr Paul Broks, Dr Katja Paeprer, Dr Frank Rohricht, Professor Peter Garrard, Dr Daniel Glaser.

Sound design by David Chilton
Written by Katie Hims
Directed by Allegra McIlroy

I'm not big on art that is based on psychological theories but this one is pretty good. 

Bow Down To Me As If I Were Lord Buckethead! Yeah, right.

It's been a weird 24 hours in which people have attributed some kind of power to me that is not only something I'd never have suspected I had but I'm quite sure isn't there.

Someone, using typical play-lefty rote language said to me, "don't abandon Sam [Seder] over one issue. That's authoritarian, and immature,"  The issue is his absurd assertion that we have to champion Julian Assange because "freedom of the press",  I had decided to stop posting videos from Seder and recently added Michael Brooks to that over his Bernie Bro. bullshit but when that showed up in the sidebar of Youtube and I heard Seder's bullshit championing of Assange I made it official and told him that I'd unsubscribed and considered it a definitive break.  Maybe if I hand't been reminded of the Almanac Singers' "FDR and Eleanor are warmongers for fighting with Stalin's ally, Hitler " period* I'd not have bothered to say it.

The idea that someone who is dumping their subscription to a friggin' play-lefty Youtube channel is an authoritarian act is an example of how overblown play-lefty language can substitute for thinking.   It's like the phenomenon of play-lefty  anti-anti communism, in which "we must stand up for those poor, put upon Communists because the people oppressing them are so uncouth".   Later in the same comment thread where my terrible act of authoritarian oppression consisting of deciding not to continue wasting time listening to that bull shit, Sam's play lefty audience, a. compared my name to Senator McCarthy (I asked the ass if he'd ever said the same thing to Eugene McCarthy) someone called me a "war monger" and there were various and other substitutes for actual thinking common to the play-left thrown around.   The play-left is, as I pointed out, in response, stupider than the Trumpian fascists in that at least they can put someone in the presidency, the play left can't manage that.  Their only electoral success is in putting Republicans in the presidency.  

That Seder is advocating for the overt, publicly exposed tool of the most Stalinesque figure in Russia since Stalin and his side kick Micheal Brooks is advocating yet another in that long series of play-lefty presidential candidacies which have helped put Nixon and Reagan and Bush II and now Trump in the presidency is what led to the definitive break, not any aspirations to a authoritarian power, even if I were stupid enough to think that that was an option.  That, again, is more like the thinking of Bernie Sanders whose idea that he, as president, would find it possible to get his program through the Congress and that it would be sustained by the courts THE FRIGGIN' 2020 ROBERTS COURT!   which is so delusional as to comprise megalomania.  Perhaps exacerbated by dementia, I say as one not that much younger than he is.  Even Joe Biden, as deluded as he is, is more realistic than that.

Also, here, one of the guys who trolls me uncovered my real intentions, of using egalitarian democracy, legally enforced equality, economic leveling to take power from which I,  Like Doug Pirhana, can impose my will and exert terrifying power through making fun of ideas and the people who spout them.   "He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious".   Yeah, that's me all over, isn't it.

I think everyone watches too much TV.

*  I am becoming far more interested in how extensive the Communist Party duplicity and dishonesty has been in duping, discrediting, weakening and defeating the American tradition of liberalism, egalitarian democracy, economic justice, etc.  It's something like when I started my investigation of Darwinism and its relationship to eugenics, every time I look into it, the clear trail of it is there virtually everywhere.  And a lot of it is, as clearly, at the instigation of Marxists.  I think Marxism, an anti-democratic ideology, which was sold as what it is not, never has been and never can be, something akin to traditional American style liberalism will always, in every case be far more helpful to its ideological cousins, fascism, Nazism, other capitalist, state-capitalist systems.   I haven't looked into it yet but this came up in the sidebar of my Youtube screen yesterday. 

Listening to Noam Chomsky's critique of Marxist behaviorism as being an intellectual position that inevitably leads to one of the two roads of horrific oppression in the 20th century (the other one he said Bakunin correctly predicted was state capitalism) made me wonder how Chomsky missed that his mid-20th century conception of genetic determinism had, itself, been productive of horrific oppression.  I think what both of those have in common is their materialism which is always deterministic, in the end, freedom being an ephemeral and unstable epiphenomenon of material determinism.  Only a rejection of materialism, the firm belief that animal consciousness is not a product of material causation has the potential to avoid that.  The concept of inalienable, endowment by God of rights to everyone is the only thing that is dependable to produce something other than oppression.   The Mosaic Law is the most reliable source of that in most of the world, especially, as Habermas pointed out, as modified by the teachings of Jesus and Paul.

Update:  I took the "early onset" out of "early onset dementia" because at Bernie's and Biden's age, there ain't nothin' early onset about it.   Habit, a prelude to dementia, use it or lose it. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Gary Burton The New Quartet - Nonsequence

Gary Burton – vibraphone
Michael Goodrick – guitar
Abraham Laboriel – bass
Harry Blazer – drums
Mike Gibbs, composition

I love the players on this album from the early 70s. 

Coral, Keith Jarrett composer

If Assange Is A Journalist To Be Championed By Journalists American Journalism Is Contemptible

If American journalists want to make the Putin asset, Trump supporter, probably one of the biggest reasons Trump was able to win the Electoral College, the leader of a ratfucking op that Trump thanked and praised more than 100 times, Julian Assange the hill that American journalism makes its stand on, they are only proving what a bunch of discreditable idiots and assholes they are.  And I mean even the ones I generally admire who are running around like chickens worrying that the sky is falling in the wake of Assange being arrested yesterday.  

It does highlight several things I've noticed more, lately, something called "freedom" as an idol instead of a virtue. How something called "freedom" as in "freedom of the press" seems to have a life in real life that is independent of egalitarian democracy, self-government by free people who have an adequate knowledge of reality.  Independent of the things that the First Amendment was created for, especially that one "right" created of an artificial right for an artificial entity "the press".  That "freedom of the press" is what  people who get paid as members of "the press" put well over that list of things that right was created to serve.  Service to egalitarian democracy and self-government is, clearly, secondary in the minds of most journalists, far, far behind what they get paid to do for those artificial entities.  I have every confidence that if you brought up that responsibility, the only rational reason that "the press" was given that freedom, the only rational reason that it is important, that they serve self-government by a free people, they would disdain that as a vulgar consideration that was beneath, not only their notice, but beneath their contempt.  

I think, as well, and, especially in the supposed journalistic left that there is in their knee jerk support of Assange a knee-jerk anti-Americanism*, the kind of thing that has not only fueled so much lefty scribbling and babbling as journalism, but which has, in the process, discredited, not only their play-left but the only real American left that values the real American liberal tradition, the ones who have struggled to actually make life better for real people.   I think that rote anti-Americanism that disdains that obligation of journalism is an expression of a snobbery that doesn't really value democracy (the reason that they've had such an incredible rate of supporting even the most brutal dictators) and, clearly, value even the most obvious scumbag like Assange as one of them.  

If legitimate journalists have something to fear in the legal process against Assange, there might be a good reason for that in what he did and how he did it.  He certainly isn't doing what real news operations did with the Pentagon Papers, his motivation was nothing like Daniel Ellsberg, I don't think Chelsea Manning is comparable to him, Ellsberg had a sense of responsibility and, more generally, a lot more sense than the young Manning did with all of her issues.   Assange used Manning's youth and emotional vulnerability.  If jounalists can't make the distinction between what they do and what Assange does, maybe they had better go back to the start and figure out what their real responsibilities are, I mean their responsibilities to equality and democracy and self-government, not to their professional convenience and privilege.   

If the government oversteps in its treatment of Assange, that would be another thing, as it possibly was in its treatment of Chelsea Manning.   That doesn't mean that what they did doesn't deserve to be prosecuted and punished.   From what I've read, they put real lives in danger, not all of them American military or government agents, some of them civilians who they exposed.  I can't begin to imagine how many of those private citizens the Putin regime crushed or has information on thanks to that other hero of such degraded journalists, Edward Snowden.  

*  "Americanism" is another word that has been seriously abused through it meaning different things.  The only Americanism that is worthy of respect is that American liberal tradition of egalitarian democracy, economic and social justice, fairness, honesty, civic responsbility.   I would guarantee you that easily 9 out of 10 times that something like the word is used by the "free press" it means the kind of rah-rah, nationalistic clap trap that embodies everything wrong with America, best symbolized by Donald Trump groping the American flag before his racist hoard. 

There's No Reason For Younger People To Get The Popular Culture References Of Geezers, I'm Sorry For The Confusion

I don't blame the person who didn't get my reference to Woody Guthrie's once famous guitar in what I wrote yesterday.   There is no reason for someone to get it, it's a piece of trivia that old lefties, such as myself could be excused from getting, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clearer to younger people.   I certainly don't consider it important information to know.  Here's a picture of him with the guitar with the silly claim on it,  

Image result for woody guthrie's guitar

I'm sure it made all those lefties feel all warm and good even though it was clearly not true.  I have read that he first wrote it on that c. 1940, as World War II had been going for several months, as Europeans measure that.  Of course in places like Ethiopia it might rationally be considered to have started earlier.  Needless to say,  Woody Guthrie's guitar, even all of the Almanac Singers put together, had a nugatory effect in defeating fascism except in so far as any of them enlisted during WWII.   

And that was after the Almanac Singers, as good commies during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact sang songs condemning FDR as a warmonger, slamming Britain for fighting the war with the Nazis, you know, things they didn't tell us callow, young lefties about those lefty heroes during the 1960s folk revival.   Woody Guthrie warn't the great hero the PR campaign claims he was.  I believe Pete Seeger, perhaps alone of the Almanac Singers, late in life made some kind of apology for dutifully following the Stalinist line of the Communist Part, people every bit as evil as the fascists they proved they could get along with on orders from Stalin.  At the time Stalin had a body count already in the millions, even as Mussolini and Hitler were mere beginners. 

They left that out of the piece I remember reading in one of the lefty magazines about how FDR and others in his administration didn't trust those idiot young lefties in the Almanac singers.   I recall reading somewhere that Woody's early mentor who gave him his radio show broke with him over the Hitler-Stalin pact so I suspect Woody, that great champion of "freedom" followed the party line on it.  I can't claim that I've been able to maintain my image of him since finding out about it.  

Update:  I'm not making that up.  Here's ol' Woody and Pete and Lee Hays and that other one I can't remember the name of slamming FDR and Eleanor as warmongers for J.P. Morgan IN 1941 EVEN AS WW II WAS ALREADY ON.   You have to wonder, if Hitler's timing had been only slightly different if the Almanac Singers would, like the most corrupt of Republican businessmen, have been advocating doing business with Hitler into the month of the Wannsee Conference.  It, in fact, was already going as those lefty heroes were writing and singing the song, the official genocides beginning in 1939 with the disabled. 

As it happened, Hitler started his invasion of the Soviet Union right after the song came out and all those young commies and their backers withdrew the record and tried to destroy all copies of what had suddenly become so revealingly politically incorrect.  If I'd heard this c. 1963 I'd have understood a lot that I didn't and I'm sure I wouldn't have bought nearly as many lies as I had.   I never bought any Pete Seeger albums, as it was, it wasn't my thing.  But I did see that documentary about The Weavers that, if I saw it now, would turn my stomach. 

Update 2:  The Almanac Singer whose name I couldn't remember was Millard Lampell who wrote that piece of crap get along with Hitler song for those idealistic young Commmies.  He later turned to Hollywood script writing, writing several pieces of crap for the movies and being one of those who was persecuted by HUAC and blacklisted, though that only meant he had to use a pseudonym as he went on writing.  Many writers in the land ruled by his great hero didn't make out nearly as well after he wrote the song or before.  Lots of them ended up shot or worse, something I always feel obligated to point out. 

Mueller Had Better Get Beyond His Professional Scruples If He Wants To Save His Reputation, If He Is The Genuine Article

When I read about Rod Rosenstein covering up for William Barr in the interview he gave to The Wall Street Journal I went back to check what I'd said about Rosenstein here and was glad to see that I never mentioned him without, at the very least, being skeptical about his sterling reputation with the class of DC, NYC, etc. lawyers and government officials who get on talk TV and radio.   And that's the most charitable thing I said about Rosenstein.  The truth is, I don't trust him, I don't believe he is more than careful about not getting himself in trouble at work.   I doubt he has any deep sense of morality. 

I don't believe anyone who is a Republican in the time of Trump or, in fact, since Bush II could have a deep sense of morality.  And as this post-Mueller investigation period continues, that includes the man Rosenstein hired to conduct the investigation Trump's own and his inner-circle's alarming and clear criminality made mandatory,  Robert Mueller.   I don't think anyone who knows the workings of the current and past Republican regimes on the intimate level that Rosenstein and Mueller must and who has remained a Republican, who has witnessed, close up, the political corruption among Republicans in Congress, Mitch McConnell and maintains membership in that party can be honestly believed to believe that it isn't a criminal operation, a collection of criminal operations.  

If Robert Mueller conducted an honest investigation, one which he, himself, reportedly concluded leads to reasonable conclusions that Donald Trump obstructed justice, a serious crime committed to shield serious crimes, and he is participating either actively, according to Barr, or passively, just sitting by as Barr and Trump use a distortion of his report, his life as a sworn law man makes his either malfeasance or nonfeasance on the basis of DoJ RULES a thing that condemns his actual character, perhaps even more than Rod Rosenstein's in his cowardly covering up for the outrageous behavior of Barr,.  Clearly Rosenstein is a practiced careerist, what seems to be the real meaning of the word "institutionalist", I'm beginning to suspect Mueller's sterling reputation is based in the same thing Rosenstein's is among people so used to seeing amorality that they can't tell the difference. 

I can tell you one thing, if any blue collar, minimum wage worker behaved like this no one would think of them as anything but a sleaze, the kind that neither Rosenstein nor Mueller would grant the benefit of the doubt like they have Trump or, now, Barr.  If the weekend goes by without Robert Mueller putting a stop to Barr and Trump's use of his reportedly thorough report, I don't think any better of him than I did Rod Rosenstein and I haven't trusted that little sleaze since finding out his participation in giving Trump an excuse to fire Comey, another deeply ambiguous and rather grimy Republican. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Note The Joke At c. 6:20

What a coincidence.  Just yesterday morning I wondered where all those stories about white racists calling the cops on people for doing anything while being Black had gone.  

I don't usually care for comedy about peoples' personal life but, as Samantha Bee reminds us, this fun couple got their start with doing that, so I have no problem with posting this. 

Stupid Mail - Destroy All Gangster Governments

If it were only true, I might put "This Blog Kills Fascism" on my masthead almost like what ol' Woody put on his guitar.  But what Woody put on his guitar was make believe.  Guitars, songs have a battle record that is wildly overstated as opposed to their actual record in fighting fascism.   Ol' Woody's guitar wracked up a body count in the fight against fascism of exactly 0.  I have no illusions about the power of my small readership blog.   And I wouldn't put it the same way he did, anyway.   I'm opposed to killing anyone, unless they are a clear and IMMEDIATE danger to the life of someone else so I wouldn't put it in the kind of silly lefty-macho language Woody did, anyway.   And opposing merely fascism is not nearly enough. 

I am a radical egalitarian-democrat, a radical leveler.   I am as radical an anti-racist, anti-fascist, though more accurately, I am an absolute opponent of gangster government those deputed to be of "the left" as well as those of the right and otherwise.   I oppose all gangster governments, fascist, Nazi, Stalinist, Maoist, Marxist, "right-left-center."  Lord save us from the slippery and ubiquitous gangsterism of the "center."*  Included in that list the fascist-apartheid establishment that has arisen in Israel under parties and their successors that my betters, such as Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt and Stefan Wolpe, warned about about the time I was born.   I don't favor any of the other gangster governments in the region.  Name one I've supported.  If Palestine develops a gangster government I will be as opposed to that one.  I oppose the one that the Supreme Court has opened the door for here, the one that billionaires domestic and foreign are imposing on the United States through the broadcast self-interested lies of the freed "free press". 

The part that the Israel lobby plays and has played in American politics is no different from the part that any other lobby plays in American politics, and like all of them it has had a hand in corrupting American politics.  I'm in favor of abolishing all lobbying and making lobbying by any other than individual voters or real groups of petitioning People, illegal.  For-pay operations being abolished.  I want billionaires and multi-millionaires leveled to the state of equality with the poorest person in the country.  They are the biggest danger to egalitarian democracy there is.    I'm not even all that happy about my fellow lefty's shoestrings united lobbying of the government.  I'm certainly not in favor of any other government being able to have that kind of effect on American democracy.  Lobbying corrupts governments, including the one you want to hold up as immune from criticism, anyone who holds up a lobbying effort as sacrosanct has announced their support for corrupt government.

*  Thinking about the recent assurances of the solid, reliable legal class as to the reliability of William Barr's "institutionalist" restraints on his Republican-fascist criminality and lying, a lot of that centrist fascism is brought by willfully gullible establishment chumps.   If Robert Mueller doesn't, very soon, counter Barr's antics, the assurances given by those same chumps as to his solid-gold character will turn out to have been fools gold, as well.   And that doesn't get me to Greg Craig's exposure as a lobbyist for a fascist thug.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

William Barr Channeling John Mitchell Only A Bigger Liar

After two days of William Barr testilying to the House and Senate, it's clear that he's almost as fecund and shameless a liar as his fake-fur Fuhrer.  His entire act is to give FOX et al Republicans in Congress and out, lies to lie to Trump's suckers.   I'll certainly have more to say once a few of the knots in his twisted knots of lies are undone.  

Democrats have to demand that Mueller come in and testify and they'll have to insist that he answer questions.  I don't know if allowing Barr to lie to them is part of a larger strategy,  I hope it is and I hope they call him on it.  If they don't find some way to punish that scumbag it will only enable the next one.  No more impunity for criminals like him. 

Update:  Remember yesterday when I linked to the Honorable Glenda Jackson addressing the idea of honoring Margaret Thatcher, something I love to watch once or twice a year,  here's one that's as delicious,  The Honorable Maxine Waters proving she's ten times times ten times smarter than Steve Mnuchin

Is It Algorithms All The Way Down? Announcement Of The First Image Of A Black Hole

This is the best quick and simple explanation I've found of what scientists have produced, it comes from Nature.   I'm impressed, though since it's a product of, among other things, algorithms created to come up with an image of something believed to be there due to some theories of cosmology (some of them, as well influenced by algorithms based on other theories, I'd guess)  can this image be considered to be anything but a product of human imagination?   It makes you wonder how secure the confirmations of theories that the video anticipates being arrived at using this image will be.  It's not exactly a photograph taken from life.  

Still, it makes me wonder how Lawrence Krauss is taking it, considering that before he decided to take the old golden parachute out of science into atheist invective, he was pushing skepticism of the existence of black holes.  I'm sure algorithms might have figured in his work supporting that, unevidenced theories certainly did, the lack of evidence of black holes was something he used to make his arguments. 

Lord knows what the next big thing in cosmology will be. 

Mueller Needs To Come Forward In Public Now Or His Reputation Should Be Considered A Fraud

Last week I pointed out that the Robert Mueller who so many have put their hopes in is reported to have been a close buddy of William Barr, the man who obstructing justice in withholding the Mueller Report and the underlying evidence.  I read how "the Muellers and the Barrs" are close friends who socialized frequently.  That was, I assume after Barr acted as a pillar in the cover-up of crimes in the Bush I administration, drafting Bush I's ass-covering pardons of criminals, some of them admitted criminals, one of them the convicted criminal who is working for the Trump regime and who, after his pardon, lied about serious matters to Congress.

Clearly Robert Mueller's sense of smell enables him to be buddies with the likes of William Barr, which is one of the reasons I have always been a lot more skeptical of his investigation than many others.   I would be skeptical of anyone who could remain a Republican after the Nixon-Reagan-Bush I - Bush II and now Trump regime crimes, especially someone who is a several times sworn law man.    When some Republican like Mueller is held up as a man of the highest principles, any honest and reasonable person has to wonder how a man like that could remain within such a totally corrupt institution.   One of those things is nothing like the other. 

After Barr's disgusting testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, his declaration that he is going to obstruct to protect the most criminal of all these criminal regimes, AFTER SAYING THAT MUELLER COULD LEAK HIS OWN REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE CONGRESS BUT HE WASN'T GOING TO RELEASE IT AND CLAIMING THAT MUELLER IS WORKING WITH HIM IN HIS OBSTRUCTION, Robert Mueller should be judged by his continued scrupulosity in being a good old boy, someone who follows the letter of the law and rules as he is claimed to be participating in the assassination of its spirit.   And that's not even getting into his absolutely disgusting and dishonest spewing of words over him trying to throw tens of millions of people out of the healthcare system.  

If Mueller doesn't publicly call for the release of his report to the Congress along with the supporting evidence and the grand jury material, Robert Mueller should be considered yet another in the long line of Republicans who have disgraced themselves on behalf of Trump, other Republican criminals and the most criminal party in the history of the country.   Even late 19th century corruption in the Republican Party had a balancing rump of honorable men in office.  That's not the case now.   Mueller's honor will either be exercised in opposition to Barr's obstruction of justice or it will be proven to be a false front. 

Update:  "He's a Vietnam vet."  So is my brother-in-law whose skeleton is disintegrating due to Agent Orange exposure,  if he was covering up for William Barr I'd be asking the same questions about him. 

On Bernie Promising To Release His Tax Filings And Why The Democratic Party Doesn't Need To Wait For The Next Election To Change Things

Bernie Sanders has announced that, at long last, he is going to release his tax returns for the past 10 years next Monday and good on him.  Even if it's a bit late. All of the Women in the race have done it, even some of the men have.  Now let's see the rest of the candidates do the same.

The elections reform package that the Democrats in the House voted for as their first bill after they regained control, I seem to recall, had release of a presidential candidates' tax records as a requirement.

But the Democratic Party doesn't have to wait for the far from certain situation in which a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President passes such a measure into law.  It could, NOW make the release of ten years of tax information six months or a year before the first primaries are held a requirement for being a Democratic candidate for President.   It should be a good thing to point to,  Democrats being open about that, Republicans not being open about it.

I have to wonder if Nader would have done what he did if such a rule had been in place, especially if it covered other aspects of financial activity.  I remember reading about a myriad of mysterious corporations he and his siblings were in the habit of forming.

And I'd throw in anyone who wants to be considered for Vice-President, the last thing a Democratic nominee would need would be for dodgy stuff in the tax filings of their VP pick to come out mere months before the election.

I would make that only one of a number of things that Democrats could do in re-branding us as the party of honesty as opposed to Republican corruption.  I'm sure there are other requirements that could be put on those who want the nomination of Democrats.

One of those is that those asking for the Democratic nomination actually having been Democrats for as long as those tax records they release go back.   There is no reason for someone who has not been a Democrat to be able to expect to waltz into it with little chance of getting the nomination and winning the election but splitting or otherwise damaging the party. 

Likewise, no state that allows non-Democrats to vote in caucuses (which should be abolished) or primaries should have their delegates should seated at the convention.  There is no reason for people who aren't members of the party to have a role in selecting the party's nominees.

The Democratic Party should conduct its own registered-Democrats ONLY by-mail primaries in states that insist on open primaries and the fraud of same-day party declaration, something I saw some Greens do in 2016 to screw with the Democratic Party, something Bernie Sanders bragged about doing in the 1980s.

If Bernie Sanders had stayed a member of the Democratic Party after his 2016 run, if he had not already taken out papers to run for the Senate in 2024 AS AN INDEPENDENT, I wouldn't even mention his name in regard to this.  But he's done that.

Democrats have every reason to get those who want their nomination to go on record promising their support to the candidate who has the support of the majority of the members of the Democratic Party. To honor the choice of the Voters in the party.   That's something we don't have to wait for the DNC to change, any Democrat can get a candidate on record with that promise so there will be no question of a real ratfucker to do what Nader did, what some members of Sanders' campaign did, what the Bernie bros, most of whom were never real members of the Democratic Party are still trying. 

But That's Not How It Turned Out, We Can Stop Pretending

There is no reason to lie about it,  Israel has chosen an apartheid government that will steal the occupied territories in an Israeli Lebensraum program and become that kind of racist, fascist state, a potential that a number of Jewish intellectuals warned against in 1948 as Israel had just formed.  Their fears are fulfilled in the election, that was the case even if the overtly fascist Netanyahu didn't win, his main opposition, the Blue and White party had a platform not much different from the fascists'.  If those small differences were enough would seem to be a moot point.

Reading about the results of this election, I thought about a piece I wrote almost thirteen years ago during one of the many brutal military campaigns that Israel was conducting with the support of the Bush II regime, especially this section:

Today the United States has no credibility as an honest broker in the Middle East. Some past presidents had more. After Iraq and now the Bush regime’s role this past month in Lebanon it has none. It has none because it clearly and solidly has favored one side, Israel and the Bush regime appears increasingly likely to have done so for ends not necessarily in Israel’s interest. There is little rational reason for Israelis or Arabs to trust Bush.

I am beyond caring if there was a reason for supporting one side or the other in any particular action in the past. If someone can tell us a way to go back and change what happened in the past it might be worth thinking about, but there isn’t one. Bringing it up is a stalling tactic, a way for cheap politicians and others to curry favor by appealing to grievances and the desire for revenge. It’s the present we can deal with and the invasion of Lebanon was dumb assed and I believe, as one of my regular readers put it so well, the Olmert government didn’t have a clue it was going to go like this. The facts now are what will have to be dealt with, not what was believed a month ago.

As we began, no one side is going to disappear but many individual people are being killed as you read this. My entire interest in this is to have as many Israelis, Palestinians, and others in the area, live to be old and to die in bed of natural causes surrounded by their intact families and their friends. It is in that spirit that I am going to say the unspeakable and voice some, though far from all, of my deepest fears.

As the generation of the Second World War and it’s children pass on there is a strong danger that the Holocaust will fade from consciousness and it’s lessons will fade from peoples’ thoughts. Huge numbers of dead when viewed in the inverted telescope of history look smaller than they were close up. Our claim on the attention of the future will compete with the entire past and will be, I’m afraid, far less compelling than their present. We will not be there to press the case. The best we can do is leave a written record of what we have known. We can’t guarantee that the future won’t repeat the evils of the past.

As time goes on, as more recent piles of bodies and other horrors block them from view, even the Holocaust will fade in its meaning to those who are not part of the groups that were murdered. The relatively forgotten Armenian genocide is one example of this and the mass graves of those murdered in Central America by terrorists funded by the Reagan administration are entirely faded from the collective, active memory of the United States. The innocent Druz, slaughtered by the USS. New Jersey in retaliation for the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon never got into Americans minds having been effectively blocked out. Even where distance is not a factor, the memory of the thousands lynched here, in the United States itself, is always in danger of slipping from the attention of white people.

I am posting a anxious warning based on what I am hearing. Israelis should dump the neo-cons who are bringing them to disaster. Those idiots, from their comfortable perches in the American establishment are going to get a lot more Israelis and others killed. Let’s face another reality, a lot of them, Gentiles and Jews alike, are pretty unsavory characters who market themselves as “supporters of Israel”. Some seem to have made a very nice living for themselves based on this. Would peace be as profitable for them?

Their alliance with fundamentalist “christians” should be all the evidence you need of their stupidity if not duplicity. End timers have only two uses for Jews, especially Israelis. Jews are either to be converted to “christianity”, perhaps by force eventually, or they are extras waiting to die in their pre-enactment battle fantasies based on the Book of Revelations. As the events around Lebanon this month show, the fundamentalist ghouls can hardly wait for the real slaughter to begin. Their script calls for Israelis to die in the millions.

Failing the fundamentalists’ favorite wish, Americans of future times will grow weary of supporting Israel if it is engaged in endless wars, endless conflicts and, especially, if idiocy on the level of this war in Lebanon continues. A constantly attacked Israel will become increasingly militarized and isolated and paranoid. With that will come the destruction of democracy. A nationalistic, perhaps theocratic and despotic Israel is certainly nothing that the vast, vast majority of Israelis or Americans want to see. If someone can convince me that isn’t where it is headed I’d really really like to believe otherwise.

I would say almost all of those things today, I believed that a majority of Israelis then didn't want to see what has undeniably developed, headed into my worst fears.   Also, under Trump, with his idiot and corrupt son-in-law officially in charge of a campaign of theft and grift they slapped the label "Middle-East-Peace" onto , the United States has absolutely no credibility, even less than the Bush II regime had.  Palestinians have absolutely no reason to believe the Israeli government and a majority of its population support apartheid and occupation.   I read somewhere that only 18 seats were won by those who favor a two-state solution in yesterday's election.  No one has any reason to pretend Israel is anything like what it claims to be anymore than they had a reason to believe the United States was an egalitarian democracy before 1965 or after the Supreme Court destroyed that brief interval of at least legal equality.

The Middle East, Israel, Palestine, etc. are headed for disaster, soon.  Israel will, I predict, soon give up any pretense of being a liberal democracy, the kind of thing that it was sold for all of my youth in the PR campaign as voiced in the sweetly reasoning, accented words of Abba Eban.  I don't know, maybe Eban really believed in what he was saying,  I always thought he did.  I know lots of people in the United States and elsewhere wanted to believe it.  I certainly wanted to believe it, you can still hear echos of that fervent hope in what I wrote thirteen years ago.  But it isn't how things turned out, is it.  It's what the group of Jewish intellectuals who warned about the previous generation of Israeli fascists, it's what they feared that has come true.

The United States should not support any apartheid, fascist country.  Though, under its renewed and developing apartheid fascism, it will.  Lots of people will die.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Stupid Mail - I'll Leave The Typos In Since They Obviously Annoy You

I'm certainly not going to be inhibited by someone making fun of auto-correct problems on this blog.  I think it was the great Carla Bley who said she'd compose a piece for someone on the spot, "mistakes and all".   I'd rather take the chance of saying something with typos and editing and spelling errors than to say nothing like he and his sponsor do.  Saying nothing might get your site more hits but it won't get anyone who reads what you don't write.   The somewhat less than great but still fun Lou Harrison said, "I'd rather chance a choice than choose a chance."  Only they don't even choose a chance, they choose slacking, saying nothing. 

Update:  And I sure as hell am not going to let what someone who is so clearly a non-musician snarks about music bother me.  I'd point out how stupid that crack was only I don't think they've got the knowledge to understand that. 

Update 2:  The "stream of consciousness" you accuse me of strikes me as preferable to the stagnant puddle you've chosen for your home base. 

Dusan Bogdanovic, A Balkan-ish Improvisation from Tychy, 2002

Dusan Bogdanovic, guitar

Dusan Bogdanovic is one of the most interesting "classical" style improvisers.  I'm tempted to pick up a guitar and go through the parts of his Counterpoint For Guitar (and if only there were an affordable edition of it) that deal with improvisation, if only I were young enough.  He has gone a lot farther than most of the keyboard improvisers who seem to be more hampered by vertical sororities that stifle their melodic lines.  Apart from some of the great French improvisers who seem to have been freed by such things as polytonality.  But that's a generalization. 

It's Not Going To Make Me A Royalist But This Is The Most Reasonable Argument For An Admitted Monarch Over The Kind Of Thing Developing in the US

I am a life long anti-royalist, a radical egalitarian, a radical leveler.  I, especially, detest the American Anglophile fixation on the English monarchs, the kings and queens of England, something which New England is lousy with,  the largely false, largely crap "history" of most of the BBC costume dramas on that topic that PBS relied on to fill up time over the years.  I might have thoroughly liked to watch Glenda Jackson as Bloody Lizzie* but even at the time I knew that the "Good Queen Bess" was only a somewhat less murderous tyrant than her vile father and grandfathers had been, her sister Mary being, as William Cobbett pointed out, actually the least murderous and rapacious of the truly evil and vile Tudors.  Subsequent and previous English royals have, as well been the subject of such costume dramas when their actual histories are more in line with the most depraved of continental monarchs and those from Russia.

That said, the British Youtuber  I highly recommended as one of the best commentators on Brexit,  Phil of A Different Bias, put up one of the most reasonable and realistic defenses of Britain's modern constitutional monarchy that, compared to America's developing system of elected-court imposed kings, is far safer and far more reasonable in many ways.  I don't want no queen or king but he gave me a far better understanding of not only why Britain keeps one but why the alternatives might be at least as bad and are potentially far worse than the Brit royals,  what Republicans and the oligarchs are bringing about here.   At the very least, he makes some interesting arguments.

*  When I really want to feel better, I prefer to watch the old videos of Glenda Jackson MP, especially her remarks on the idea of honoring Margaret Thatcher when that oligarchic scumbag died and, hopefully, got her just deserts.

What Are We Going To Do If Trump Is Right About How Corrupt The Court Is?

If, as Trump clearly expects it to, the Republican-fascist majority on the Supreme Court lets him get away with whatever crimes he commits and, also from the Congressional oversight that even the Constitution asserts is within the power of the Congress, what will happen? 

If the habit of thought we were raised with determines that, people will say,  "Oh, hell, Rome The Court has spoken, and we have no choice but to accept that as the shifted good order," we will have allowed the Republican-fascist dominated court to alter the Constitution into the kind of dictatorship that lots of us expect.  It is the kind of thing that presidential systems that copy ours so often turn into.

The news media has encouraged that in the past, the asserted requirement of accepting the outrageous Bush v. Gore decision, that subsequent cover up for the Bush crime family putsch by the New York Times as it thought up ways to twist the results of the news consortium study that showed that Gore, in fact, won the vote in Florida, had all the ballots been counted.  If you're counting on the "respectable" press to prevent that tumble into autocratic governance, sorry, no.  Look at their recent behavior, the people who dominate it are oligarchs and, largely, contented cattle, children of the affluent class and those who aspire to join them.

But, say, they are almost as unwilling to see a Supreme Court facilitated fascist dictator as American patriots would be, how do we get past that Supreme Court working against, not the full Congress, but the House in an imbalance of power that our bicameral legislative structure is supposed to prevent but which it hardly guarantees.  I am rather allergic to reading the often dishonest, often repulsively deceptive Federalist papers, so I don't know what the unofficial record shows in those pseudo-gods anticipation of such a thing - what they really feared was popular governance, democracy which they suspected would come from the most democratic of all the parts of government, the House, the reason that the present Republican-fascist crime regime, under Trump, McConnell and the fascists on the Courts put there by Republican-fascism makes the House our last hope for stopping the crimes of Trump.  And, as I pointed out, the media, especially the overtly fascist media but, also, the complacent "respectable" media is not performing its alleged role as a check on all of them. 

The Congress is given the obligation to hold the other branches in check, not only the president but, also the judiciary which has been totally corrupted under McConnell, Grassley, Graham and the rest of the Republican-fascists in the Senate, perhaps Lisa Murkowski having some claim to not participating in the last stab against democracy, the confirmation of the moral swinging door, Brett Kavanaugh. 

The two Republican regimes of this century, the Supreme Court installed Bush II regime and the Electoral College imposed Trump regime, this situation in which the honor that the often rickety system depended on holding up is certainly absent from the Republicans who have not left the party in disgust and horror, prove that the system set up in the Constitution is fatally vulnerable to the kind of attack it has been under through billionaire financed entities such as the Federalists, through the "strict constructionist" "originalist" and the overtly fascist "unitary executive" doctrine which was developed in the elite law school faculties, and the Republicans on the Supreme Court who, uniformly, now, are overt fans of one or another vehicle of fascism. 

We will not survive as a democracy, equality will turn to ever increasing and increasingly violent inequality unless there are the most basic changes in the structure of the government, in the regime that has allowed media to lie us into this situation.  The articles that lawyers and even law professors are writing about how the House has not only what is sloppily considered "a right" but which is really a responsibility to demand the Mueller Report, its supporting evidence,  Trump's tax records, and all of the other things they need to keep us from pitching into Stephen Miller's demented wet dream of white-supremacist fascism and the horrible civil war that will result in that are not going to save us. 

The normal functioning of the Constitution is the thing that the billionaires and their hired, Ivy League thug-laywers and other professionals figure out how to rig on their behalf IS how we got here, with the inability of the Democrats in the House to stop it, hampered by the Courts will be the last hope of making that thing work.   In the future, if egalitarian democracy is to survive, we will have to have far stronger protections against such system rigging, often based on the act of judicial stupidity that corruptly refuses to make even the most obvious of distinctions, a pose that has produced so much of the corruption in our government. 

You want to bet that the Supreme Court, lower courts stuffed with Republican-fascists, "Federalists" "Originalists" white supremacist-fascists will save us?  The real history of the Supreme Court, not the hagiographic bull shit that is regularly substituted for that, is as sleazy and corrupt and racist and ideologically demented as that of the Senate that appointed it so often is.

One of the things I hope will happen if the unlikely thing happens and Democrats take back the Congress and the Presidency will be that they force through basic changes in how the Supreme Court operates.  The Supreme Court has been the origin of the corruption, "liberal" and right wing.   A range of "justices" from the overt partisan fascists such as Scalia, Alito, Rhenquist, . . . but also the often ill cast "liberals" such as Douglas, Brennan, even Thurgood Marshall (through freeing the media to lie on behalf of the rich and fascist) have played a role in this. 

I have pointed to the radical lawyer and law scholar Louis Boudin who warned about the danger of an out of control court in the past.  One of the things he advocated was that the other branches of the government require a unanimous decision before a duly adopted law, passed with a majority in the congress, even a large majority and made law can be overturned.  I think another thing that is absolutely necessary is that justices who are too ignorant of math and science to understand the issues of cases are balanced with those who have knowledge of those topics and the law.  The size of the court is inadequate for modern life and, when corrupt degenerates like Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham dominate the Senate, they will make things worse.  I think a vote of the House should be required to confirm members of a Court that will lord it over what has more of a chance of being The Peoples' House.  The Senate has proven to be untrustworthy to handle that responsibility, alone.  It has a history that is even more sordid than the House and the way it is elected makes the Senate more susceptible to manipulation by the rich and the ways they have found to rig the Constitution to be their tool.

But the entire thing rests on a majority of the American People knowing the truth, knowing the truth is the only way that we will ever be free.  But that isn't enough, it isn't nearly enough.  A nation that believes the lies that our media pushes has no hope of that.  Egalitarian democracy depends on more than that, though, it also depends on a real, effective belief in moral obligation to other people around us, to people we will never see, to people who don't look or sound like us and to the environmental basis of life, itself.   The very moral obligations that a majority of those in the Senate, the Supreme Court  and in the Trump regime reject and hate.  Given the cynical corrupt shit that the media has fed The People on 24-7-365 for decades, now, under the license that is mistakenly called "freedom" under the First Amendment as interpreted by the Court, it's not really any surprise we are in such deep shit.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Andrew Hill - Refuge

Andrew Hill (Piano)
Richard Davis (Bass)
Anthony Williams (Drums)
Eric Dolphy (Flute, Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet)
Kenny Dorham (Trumpet)
Joe Henderson (Tenor Saxophone)

I need to hear this once in a while.

Think Of This The Next Time You Hear Someone Say "Trailer Trash"

It was one of the things that happened online, shortly after I went on, when I read a college-credentialed lefty snark about "trailer trash".   It was about the time I realized that the very blue, lefty blog I hung out on and read that on wasn't part of any left I wanted to have anything to do with or which would ever do anything good.  But don't get me started on that, listen to this and you won't believe how explicit the rich assholes in this story are. 

This Is A Man Who Zionists Insist You Call An "Antisemite" - An Answer

The late German-Dutch phyicist, Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, a deep believer in what he called "Modern, humanistic-universalist Judaism" but whose writing and speaking was profoundly based in The Law, even as he was an agnostic.  His ethics and experience forced him to be deeply critical of the Zionist leadership of Israel, the ideology that has pretty much dominated Israel for most of the past 36 years.   He's one of the people who the current redefinition of "antisemitism" includes as "antisemites."  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the most clearly illegitimate parts of that campaign of defining "antisemitism," the parts that shield the Israeli government and its racist, militaristic campaigns through defining its critics with what is now the strongest means of silencing people in the United States were designed to make what he said unmentionable.   As Hajo Meyer was quoted as saying, "Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews."

The experience and deep knowledge Hajo Meyer shows, his experience as a victim of the Nazi genocide, a survivor of parents who were murdered by the Nazis, makes his analysis of the present day Palestinian reaction to Israeli policies important to listen to.  Yet the Zionists want to make him a non-person, someone who is not to be listened to, and people who listen to him, quote him, mention him are called "antisemites"   That is something they used in Britain to attack the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, in much the same way that they are going after Democrats in the United States, now.  It was that incident, when he was invited to speak at an anti-genocide conference sponsored by Corbyn, that began that campaign that led me to listen to and read what Hajo Meyer said.   As someone pointed out recently, you never hear the zionists attacking the explicit antisemites in the Tory Party even as they don't attack those among the Republican-fascists in the United States. 

You Made It

Maine Public Broadcasting's website has a bright red tab on the side of the screen that says "Oppose The President's Proposal To Defund Public Media" to which I say, that's a bed you and NPR helped make,  enjoy. 

I feel no inclination to help out any public media that carries NPR.  Especially MPBN which has the Republican hack Irwin Gratz as its morning news reader and which is one of the vehicles of Susan Collins' PR operation.  

The Old, Old Habits of "Liberal" Journalism From A "Liberal" Paper On Display

I think Peter Canellos' article on Politico, Why Beto and Buttigieg Pretend to Be Kennedys, has a lot more to do with his quarter of a century working for the Boston Globe than it does Beto, and, especially, Pete Buttigieg.  Relying on a 37 year old book by Gary Wills, The Kennedy Imprisonment, Canellos is also following a Boston Globe tradition, trying to cut the legs out from under promising Democratic candidates from the then "liberal" platform of the Globe, though if I get into that, as a life-long reader of the now sadly diminished (and absurdly expensive) alternative to the putrid "little paper," which it now more mimics than contrasts, this will get ugly.

What Peter Canellos is doing is trying to diminish two of the more charismatic men among the Democratic candidates by calling them copy-cats - which is a hoot considering he's more or less cribbing Wills' old stuff. a book as old as the younger of the two men he's writing about.  Canellos is showing his age.  I would be very surprised if either of those two still young men have anything like an image they're copying in their heads, it would be Obama or, somewhat less likely, the 1992 Bill Clinton, the latter of whom clearly did hope to be something like a JFK (there was the old photo of the young Bill Clinton shaking his hand) but I doubt either of them are even thinking of Clinton when there is an Obama fresh in their mind.

I think even more than saying anything about the candidates,  Canellos is definitely showing his age.  Beto O'Rourke was born in 1972, Pete Buttigeig ten years after that, years after Jack and Bobby died.   I was born considerably before either they or Canellos were.  I remember the 1960 campaign for president fairly well, though I was still pretty young.  I was an Irish Catholic boy from New England in a household that watched the news on WBZ and whatever call letters channel 7 in Boston had back the, and we took the Globe as one of the two dailies (not to mention the three weekly papers) we read.   My parents were both news and politics junkies.  What Canellos sees as Kennedyesque is, I think, just what a young man running for president will look like, especially one who is fit for the job and knows that fitness will be an asset.  It's the shirt without a coat, I think, something which counts more as a universal post-WWII generation thing than something the Kennedys invented.  I think if anything, they were copying movies and advertising copy.   I think in making the comparison Canellos' years working in Boston media is also showing, it strikes me as a lazy-assed habit he's exercising, maybe his years as an editorial writer, as opposed to being a reporter of fact, as well.

To group together Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg is lazy as it is for Canellos to group together the quite individual women in the race.  I don't think the two of them are enough like the other except in superficial ways - physical appearance - to do what the article wants to do.  I think to concentrate on them instead of taking the older, more experienced, more fully credentialed women in the race seriously is also telling - it's something most of the media is doing, covering men and ignoring women.  That's not something I would blame these two male candidates for, I blame the press for that.  

And it's not just something that men do, the Boston Globe still regularly prints the hit jobs of Joan Vennochi, probably their most misogynistic op-ed regular writer, though not their only one whose favorite targets are liberal Democrats, especially women.

I think what can be seen in Canellos and Vennochi and most of the media is also the near universal habit of those who get paid to write by politics, paid by rich guys who own the media they work in,  to be far more critical of Democrats than they are Republicans, especially younger, more charismatic, more progressive Democrats.  Democrats with less baggage and more of a chance of winning and moving things ahead need to be damaged and the damaged promoted.   You can see that in Venocchi's recent screeds in which she goes easy on Joe Biden's creepily quasi-Kennedyesque attitude towards women and their bodily autonomy, their dignity, a marked contrast to her treatment of women.  It is something that will certainly not work to get Democratic voters, mostly women, mostly minority mostly men who have moved on from that early 60s era attitude, out and fighting and voting.   That's typical of American journalism across the board, right-wing to "liberal" high to low end.  I think what especially "opinion journalists" know more than anything is which side their bread is buttered on.  I suspect that's got something to do with Canellos' article in Politico.  No journalist has ever lost a thing by slamming Democrats any way they can think up.  It's such a temptation to copy what's worked in the past.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

In Case You Need A Little Inspiration

What Were They Like - Denise Levertov

Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?
Were they inclined to quiet laughter?
Did they use bone and ivory,
jade and silver, for ornament?
Had they an epic poem?
Did they distinguish between speech and singing?

Sir, their light hearts turned to stone.
It is not remembered whether in gardens
stone gardens illumined pleasant ways.
Perhaps they gathered once to delight in blossom,
but after their children were killed
there were no more buds.
Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth.
A dream ago, perhaps. Ornament is for joy.
All the bones were charred.
it is not remembered. Remember,
most were peasants; their life
was in rice and bamboo.
When peaceful clouds were reflected in the paddies
and the water buffalo stepped surely along terraces,
maybe fathers told their sons old tales.
When bombs smashed those mirrors
there was time only to scream.
There is an echo yet
of their speech which was like a song.
It was reported their singing resembled 
the flight of moths in moonlight.
Who can say? It is silent now. 

Denise Levertov 

If You Don't Listen To Anything Else This Morning, You Should Listen To The Interview With Romeo Dallaire

CBC's Sunday Edition interviewed  Lt. General Romeo Dallaire about the Rwanda genocide that began 25 years ago, today.  The interview with Michael Enright, who was one of the few in the media who Dallaire spoke to at the time,  is something that is more important than anything I'm going to write for the rest of the day so I'm going to post a link to it and recommend that you listen to it.

Romeo Dallaire is one of the great, tragic heroes of our time, a great man who was prevented from taking effective and courageous action to stop the genocide by the U. N. under who he worked as a peacekeeper and the Bill Clinton administration which refused to take the simplest of measures, either blocking or bombing the transmitter of the mass media that played a central role in the genocide,  Radio Mille Collines, a shock-jock radio station that would, translated, fit right in with American style hate-talk radio.  Here is a bit about that from an old Atlantic article about the criminal negligence of the Clinton administration and other Western countries and the U. N. to act. 

Dallaire never spoke to Bushnell or to Tony Marley, the U.S. military liaison to the Arusha process, during the genocide, but they all reached the same conclusions. Seeing that no troops were forthcoming, they turned their attention to measures short of full-scale deployment which might alleviate the suffering. Dallaire pleaded with New York, and Bushnell and her team recommended in Washington, that something be done to "neutralize" Radio Mille Collines.

The country best equipped to prevent the genocide planners from broadcasting murderous instructions directly to the population was the United States. Marley offered three possibilities. The United States could destroy the antenna. It could transmit "counter-broadcasts" urging perpetrators to stop the genocide. Or it could jam the hate radio station's broadcasts. This could have been done from an airborne platform such as the Air Force's Commando Solo airplane. Anthony Lake raised the matter with Secretary of Defense William Perry at the end of April. Pentagon officials considered all the proposals non-starters. On May 5 Frank Wisner, the undersecretary of defense for policy, prepared a memo for Sandy Berger, then the deputy national-security adviser. Wisner's memo testifies to the unwillingness of the U.S. government to make even financial sacrifices to diminish the killing.

"We have looked at options to stop the broadcasts within the Pentagon, discussed them interagency and concluded jamming is an ineffective and expensive mechanism that will not accomplish the objective the NSC Advisor seeks.

International legal conventions complicate airborne or ground based jamming and the mountainous terrain reduces the effectiveness of either option. Commando Solo, an Air National Guard asset, is the only suitable DOD jamming platform. It costs approximately $8500 per flight hour and requires a semi-secure area of operations due to its vulnerability and limited self-protection.

I believe it would be wiser to use air to assist in Rwanda in the [food] relief effort" 

The plane would have needed to remain in Rwandan airspace while it waited for radio transmissions to begin. "First we would have had to figure out whether it made sense to use Commando Solo," Wisner recalls. "Then we had to get it from where it was already and be sure it could be moved. Then we would have needed flight clearance from all the countries nearby. And then we would need the political go-ahead. By the time we got all this, weeks would have passed. And it was not going to solve the fundamental problem, which was one that needed to be addressed militarily." Pentagon planners understood that stopping the genocide required a military solution. Neither they nor the White House wanted any part in a military solution. Yet instead of undertaking other forms of intervention that might have at least saved some lives, they justified inaction by arguing that a military solution was required.

Whatever the limitations of radio jamming, which clearly would have been no panacea, most of the delays Wisner cites could have been avoided if senior Administration officials had followed through. But Rwanda was not their problem. Instead justifications for standing by abounded. In early May the State Department Legal Advisor's Office issued a finding against radio jamming, citing international broadcasting agreements and the American commitment to free speech. When Bushnell raised radio jamming yet again at a meeting, one Pentagon official chided her for naiveté: "Pru, radios don't kill people. People kill people!"

The reports on the refusal of the Clinton administration to take that minimal step to save hundreds of thousands of lives had and have had a continuing effect on my thinking.   I remember reading a defense of Clinton and his people, that it would have violated "freedom of the press" to have bombed the transmitter or to have jammed the signal based in the most recited bromides of American style liberalism, the artificial entities, "presses" in such thinking having rights more important to lawyers and judges and justices and politicians than the people they are getting murdered.  Looking back on it over the years, it, the non-action of Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and others even as they knew that the mass murder was being directed by radio telling murderers where their victims might have been hidden, it made me realize the very limited range of moral concern among that class of Ivy League trained lawyers and journalists and other professionals.  

I would recommend listening to the entire interview, including what Romeo Dallaire says about his current work to try to abolish the practice of turning children into weapons of war as well as the profound toll that it has taken on him.  I can hardly imagine the difference between how it has damaged and destroyed the professional soldier, the warrior,  as it, clearly, has not changed the civilians, the politicians,  the lawyers, the journalists, etc. who prevented him from saving lives.  

Stupid Hate Mail

I am confronted as to why I capitalize words like Black, Women, People, Persons, etc. The first answer is that I choose to do it.  Well, I try to but I haven't succeeded in doing it consistently, old habits are hard to change.  Though it's my intention to capitalize words that identify People individually and in naturally occurring groupings, especially those identities which are the object of discrimination and violence.  Though I do capitalize "White" and "Men" when I think to, unless I'm pissed off about privilege.  That is other than the one instance when the conventions of English writing mechanics do that with the pronoun "I".   It's a better question as to why that kind of egocentrism is encouraged in writing out personal pronouns.

I started it after reading some "brain-only" atheist crap that diminishes consciousness so as to try to squeeze humanity and human beings into the status of being a physical object, a mere and meaningless manifestation of material stuff that has no higher status than any other material object.  That is a logical conclusion of atheism and materialism that is the farthest thing from an inconsequential and ephemeral load of pseudo-scientific bollocks.  That idea has been, throughout history and now, one of the basic concepts on which mass murder into the tens and scores of millions and murder, individually depends.*  There is no accident in the fact that the ideologies of the 20th century which racked up the highest murder rates in history are materialistic ideologies claiming their bases had the status of science.  The current articulation of that basis in the pseudo-sciences, in some of the worst philosophizing to come out of the western tradition and as popularized on TV and other pop media, proves that we certainly didn't learn that lesson written in oceans of blood.

People who murder other people clearly do it because how they think about other People allows them to do it, their habitual ways of thinking about other People just as those who slaughter animals think of them as lesser beings, of objects. I don't see that as an insignificant matter.  I certainly don't think that capitalization will change the world or make that stop,  but it's something I choose to do.

I decided to start showing more respect for the status of, at least, human beings in their most natural of attributes and identities.  What they do in German with nouns but only acknowledging the status of living beings as opposed to non-living objects and concepts.  I figure giving that status to human beings and their identities is a good place to start. One of the bloggers I respect once pointed out and objected to the increasing use of the word "that" instead of "who," when referring to people, a similar diminution of significance of People into the status of objects,  I'm sure that point was part of my thinking, too.   I can't claim to consistently avoided lapsing into that usage but the point is one I agree with.

Considering the things we are to capitalize so as to be respectable and nice that are totally artificial and completely arbitrary (you are to capitalize the word after a colon IF there are two sentences or more following but not if there is only one) the rest of the rules that no one really remembers, it's silly to get huffed about people choosing to capitalize words as they choose to.  But, then, most of the formal rules of written English mechanics are pretty silly and most useful for letting People well off  enough to have a secretary or editor whose business it is to correct the text of their employers do it for them and for snobs to disdain other People for any asserted lapses.   What's moderately fun is when you can point out that what they make a show of disdaining is in line with the formal rules, so many language snobs are ignorant mid-brows who have nothing better to think about.

One word, "cooky".

Update:  *  It was on display in the Supreme Court this week where the Republican-facist "justices" said that even excruciating pain by the method of excecution was not a violation of the claimed ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" in the constitution.   I remember listening to William F. Buckley when he had on the putrid and demented Ernst Van den Haag, a kind of respectable Fred Leuchter, realizing that for the fascism that Buckley and his ilk craved, the threat of death was necessary.   For that it is necessary to have capital punishment as well as other forms of state murder. 

Someone snarked about the reputedly Catholic "justices" who voted for this demented thing, snarkily asking if Pope Francis was OK with it.  Well, he isn't because not only did he change the official Catechism of the Catholic Church to say that capital punishment is always "inadmissible" he has said that torture is a mortal sin.  NOT that I expect any of the Catholic "justices" to be turned away from receiving communion for their depravity.   I would rather think the Catholic prep school, so much in the news last fall, that produced both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh might be a better target for such snark.  Clearly the Catholic formation of both of those men is horrifically deficient, as those elite Catholic prep schools and many of their major, Ivy equivalent universities seem to turn out in such unacceptable numbers. 

Update 2:   Oh, yeah, I remember when the verdict came down against the guy who Buckley sued for calling him a fascist.  At the time I said,  "You can't say that William F. Buckley is a fascist because he successfully sued a guy who called him a fascist and Liberace successfully sued someone who said he was gay".   

Only, then, Buckley and Liberace died and you can tell the truth about both of them now.  William F. Buckley,  as most of those on the Republican right of his day, was a fascist and, though not exactly a Holocaust denier, I remember reading about a time he was a Holocaust diminisher.   The Republican party has always had a strong fascist element in it, certainly from the late 19th century, just as the Democratic Party once contained the post-Confederate racists.  Only they left and joined the Republicans starting when Truman integrated the military and, especially, when Johnson pushed through the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts - two of the most most "conservative" of Democratic presidents, by the way.  Republicans, "moderate" and otherwise have always acted in concert with the fascists ever since. 

Update 3:  I should have also pointed out that Buckley was, beyond any dispute, a white supremacist and a flaming, Jim Crow promoting racist as can be read in what he wrote for his fascist rag of a magazine.  The current campaign among all Republicans, from Trump to the Congress to the Supreme Court to state legislatures and governors to prevent Black People, Latinos, poor People, Democrats and people who might vote Democratic, etc. from voting is exactly in line with the racism of the elegant, elite William F. Buckley in the 1950s.