Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Martin Jameson - DCI John Stone- The White Van

Another week when I'm too busy to track down a comprehensive cast listing, luckily, the announcers of the BBC usually do a good job of that.  I listened to this on another source, I'm pretty sure this one is where they got it from. 

You can download mp3s of the whole series at  As critical as I've been of cop operas this week, this series is generally very good and not much like an American one. 

Here, I'll Post What The Spam Bot Tried To Post, It Makes About As Much Sense As Stupy's Comment And Is As On Topic

What a data of un-ambiguity and perserverness 

of vauable experince on the topic of 

unpredicted emotions.

"religion is necessary to keep the proles in line" - Stupid Mail

The ubiquitous idiocy of the atheist play-left in the United States and elsewhere in the English speaking world holds that religion is, as Marx said in abbreviation, "the opiate of the masses" when the actual effect of the Mosaic Law and the Christian Gospel, when taken seriously and as a mandatory moral foundation civil law, economic justice or injustice, as most law really comes down to, has exactly the opposite effect.  The fact that it is, actually, in modern officially atheist, officially and brutally anti-religious states that "the proles" have been kept in harsher bondage than they have been in just about all modern democracies, certainly including the comparatively religious United States.  The greatest number of slaves, right now, are in such countries such as North Korea and China.   Atheism is, actually, in the modern context, the ideology most associated with oppression of the masses. 

I, as so many others have noted before that when those held in slavery looked for inspiration for an example of slaves being freed, they looked to Exodus,  that central narrative of the Hebrew Bible and to the Gospel of Jesus, the Epistles and Acts.  

The history of liberation theology in Central and South America and elsewhere is a history of martyrdom of people organizing in resistance to oppression inspired by their reading of the Gospels.   There was a reason the Samosa government bombed the Christian base community at Solentiname as part of its war against Catholics organizing through the church, why St. Oscar Romero was assassinated as he said Mass, why the six Jesuit theologians, their house keeper and her daughter were brutally assassinated, why the Black Churches were bombed and attacked all during the days of official and unofficial slavery, throughout the Jim Crow period and up till today when Churches are burned and Bible study classes of old people are attacked by the likes of Dylan Roof, why Synagogues are attacked, why they were attacked by Nazis, Marxists, fascists, etc.  

As Noam Chomsky once said, the reason those things started happening in reaction to the Second Vatican Council and the theological movements demanding equality and economic justice fell under attack by the CIA and other agencies, why the graduates of the School of the Americas are such notable nun and priest killers, it is because "the Gospel is radical".  It is more radical than Marxism, as is, in fact, the Mosaic law, as is the economic program of even the otherwise reactionary Popes that came after St. John XXIII.   As Bernie Sander correctly said, his economics program is less radical that the Pope's, I believe it was Francis he said it about though, oddly enough, that's probably true of his reactionary predecessor, Benedict XVI.   I know of no secular, certainly no atheist political babbler who is as radical as Walter Brueggemann, none who was as radical as James Cone.  

The utter ignorance of the college-credentialed, anti-religious play-left in such matters is as total an eclipse as they could imagine, attributing such benightedness to religion, alone.  The issuance of such bull shit from them is of such a regularity, of such dependability that it is generally unremarkable.  As I said, having been brought up - though not by my parents - on the academic babble on such thing, I had just bought into the idea that atheism was an intellectual position.  It took the new-atheism, the spectacle of its cover in the "skepticism" industry and fact checking them to begin that unraveling.  sTARBABY as exposed by one of their own, the ultra-asshole-atheist in his own right, Dennis Rawlins,  was very important in breaking through the accretions of habit, being able to fact check atheists and their holdings - few of which stand up to close investigation - has been a constant abandonment of habits of thought and bull shit and lies and, yes, leaving behind the people who will always be more of a help to the gangsters of the left as well as the right such as the new-atheist and the old ones are.  

A political economy governed by The Law and the Gospel would be the most radical redistribution of wealth and power down in the history of the world,  a legal system of civil rights based in the moral teachings of Jesus would shatter the injustice that has constituted the majority of the history of humanity.  

On that I am entirely more willing to think the abolitionists such as David Walker,  Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman were right, on that I am willing to trust the likes of The Reverend Martin Luther King jr.  Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, than I am any ideological atheist who, so often, advocates the Marxism that adds total hypocrisy to the brutal gangsterism of fascism - as the Nazis added Darwinism to the mix.  

I'm certainly not willing to trust the idiot who believed that Alexander Nevsky was up against Nazis and who has never demonstrated that he's capable of discerning the truth and certainly seems to have an inherent revulsion to it.  

As I've noted several times in explaining why allowing lies is to only add to the natural advantage they have in that you can make up any old lie that people like to hear, you have to tell even the most unpleasant and hard-to-sell truth to tell the truth.   

Maybe it's because the truth is, in that eternal Freshman whine, haaarrrrrrd!  Atheists are generally quite lazy, mostly a bunch of semi-affluent and affluent self-satisfied slacker boys and the contented cattle of college faculties and the scribbling class, something you can see if you compare their writing to that of someone like Hans Kung or Elizabeth Johnson or Walter Brueggmann.   Brueggemann's exposition of economic justice, flowing directly from The Law, The Prophets and The Gospel is quite coherent.  You can't get that out of biological or material determinism.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cecil Brooks III - Sunny

Cecil Brooks III, drums arranger.
Matt Chertkoff, guitar
Kyle Koehler, organ

Penn Relays

I heard the first of these on the radio this morning and decided to post it because I can.  Late summer usually makes me think of Hammond organs and Kyle Koehler is one of my favorites on that instrument.  No idea what the association is in my mind but it's there.  I wasn't familiar with Cecil Brooks III or Matt Chertkoff but I'll be following them up, one of the best things about Youtube, that you can try new stuff.  Makes me wonder why so many only listen to the same old, same old stuff on it.

Announcment Of The Fall Season

I have decided to do with Hans Kung's little book Why I Am Still A Christian what I did with Walter Brueggemann's excellent small book The Bible Makes Sense and go through it over several weeks.  I won't do what I'm tempted to, type the whole thing into Blogger, Kung's book being worth reading in its entirety.  It isn't as comprehensive as the three longer books I've posted short excerpts from* but it makes a succinct form of the major arguments in those great works.  Yet my stupidest troll slams the literature of theology which he has never, ever read a page of.  Joined in that by the equally ignorant college-credentialed cohort I've mentioned otherwise today.

I might start today or tomorrow.  Depending on an ever more busy calendar.  I'm teaching again starting the end of this month. 

* Does God Exist?,  On Being A Christian and Eternal Life?  You could spend a lifetime reading and rereading these books and looking up all of Kung's voluminous citations from all over the sciences, history, literature, philosophy and religion.  I am unaware of anything in secular scholarship that matches them and, in fact, most of the theological works I've been reading.  Once in a while I recall the passage from Richard Lewontin's essay-review, Billions and Billions of Demons in which he mocks the naive and arrogant pretensions of Carl Sagan:

Third, it is said that there is no place for an argument from authority in science. The community of science is constantly self-critical, as evidenced by the experience of university colloquia "in which the speaker has hardly gotten 30 seconds into the talk before there are devastating questions and comments from the audience." If Sagan really wants to hear serious disputation about the nature of the universe, he should leave the academic precincts in Ithaca and spend a few minutes in an Orthodox study house in Brooklyn. 

I adore Lewontin, that dear old atheist materialist, may he be glad when he discovers he was wrong He should get into heaven on his honesty, if nothing else.

Hate Mail - In Which I Say Something Nice About My Enemies Which They Won't Like One Little Bit

I should admit that I owe a debt of gratitude, though not one they'd be gratified to know about,  to my antagonists at Duncan Black's blog and those of the past when I used to get into brawls at the Science Blogs, at some blogs of Marxists, etc. that they provided me with the first evidence I'd noticed of how the American and, I'd say, British lefts have failed through the enforced secular regime of the past century.   Though before that it was the part the Black Churches, the Peace Churches, the Catholic Left (of which my mother was an active part) and other parts of the religious left that were the first part of what has developed into the major theme of my online activity.  I just didn't realize that's what I was learning from the example of the height of success in liberalism which occurred when I was in my late adolescence in the 1960s.  It was the wave of Civil Rights activism which was, in fact, most successful when it was centered in the Black Church, was staffed by figures such as St. Cesar Chavez, that was my first clue that any successful left, any successful American style liberalism is, in fact, and of necessity, based in religious conviction of the right kind, the kind that fuels and feeds and originates the morality of that left. 

The atheist online invective and dishonesty, the new-atheism fad of the 00s and its contiued presence till today, had everything to do with why I have concluded it is and has been one of the main engines of failure on the American and British left, of lefts in other places.  I have come to the conclusion that their intellectual products of the past two centuries are the major hurdle to the progress that others have made.  Even what they and so many of us like to think of as their loftiest ideals, embodied in the slogan "The First Amendment" unguided by even more fundamental values, both those within and external to religion, will be turned into poison of self- government by people with sufficient moral conviction, willingness to sacrifice and adequate knowledge of the kind that can produce egalitarian democracy and a concern for posterity strong enough to do what needs to be done to create what we all claim to desire.

The quote from Eric Alterman I gave, again, the other day, confirming that Jurgen Habermas - an atheist who is also one of the most eminent post-war scholars in the relevant areas,  the eminent historian James T. Kloppenberg, presumably Alterman - no novice in this area of study, himself, and, by inference FDR,  agree with what I'd concluded independently  from the experiences noted in my first paragraph, that any hope for any revival and effective American style liberal left, a left of egalitarian democracy, the salvation of the environment, the best chance for a decent life for everyone in a sustainable world, will come from the kind of religious belief that Christianity is based in but which is not exclusive to Christianity, it is shared by many other religious groups.   

Those bases cannot be found in an effective way without religious foundation, the secular, allegedly scientific articulations of them will always be accompanied by stronger and more highly valued ideological beliefs which undermine them.  If individuals within that secularism do not have their personal commitments to egalitarian justice or environmental sustenance diminished by their ideological camp, others in that camp will effectively thwart them being enacted.   There is a reason that Habermas, an atheist and Marxist scholar and philosopher with every reason to find a secular basis for the foundations of freedom in equality and democracy could not, after a lifetime's study, find those though he could find them in the Jewish and Christian religions, calling those the only source that nourishes those essential values. 

Other religious groups contain the potential to do that, I believe, as long as their firmly held beliefs in them are strong enough to overcome what Plantinga calls "defeaters".  I was listening to a lecture about the history of the Cree language that led me to conclude that traditional Cree religion seems to contain that potential.  But I know from a lot of reading of the history of secularism, of atheism, of scientism, of science, to know that none of those can generate or sustain such values and certainly, in practice, they undermine them in a very real and very dangerous way.  

The insights I gained as to the folly of the traditional "left-right" graph of political identity were part of that as well.  The massive spectacle of the secular left being willfully blind to the piles and mountain of corpses racked up by atheist governments, Marxist, amassed in the 20th century, rivaling those amassed by the Nazis and fascists and under capitalism, the claim that all of the non-egalitarian, non-democratic governments of all degrees are not all morally unacceptable and deplorable is confirmation of my theme, as well.  When someone like Alexander Cockburn could argue in the 1990s (If I'm recalling the timeline correctly) that, somehow, Stalin was better than Hitler because their hit lists were drawn up slightly differently, that others pooh-poohed the as massive murders of Mao and other self identified scientific regimes, when they can ignore that it is, in fact, university trained physicists, chemists, etc. who have put us all in the greatest peril in human history, blaming the woes of the world on probably the least potent origin of some evil in the past, religion, provides anyone who is looking honestly all the reason they need to conclude that it is, in fact, secularism that has destroyed American style liberalism and kept us in the wilderness for half a century. 

Update:  Reading through this in my typical practice of publishing in haste and editing at leisure, I should note the part that the lefty magazines - I used to subscribe to four, not to mention newspapers and other media - played in my disillusion with the secular left.  I think the first clue was when I read those annoyingly self-satisfied and pious claims of the virtue of non-voting that appeared in such magazines, the ones that advocated never-would-win candidacies and the "third parties" that popped in and out of existence as if out of some quantum vacuum, never producing a fucking thing except futility and publicity for their inventors, etc.   I read those long enough to know they all, with perhaps the exception of the later years of Mother Jones and only then to some extent, were dedicated to exactly what was self-defeating in the secular left and dedicated to much of the pseudo-left depravity of the kind I noted in the last paragraph above.   The line that The Nation magazine took on Putin's ratfucking in our last election, producing Trump who they railed about, otherwise, has really opened my eyes to the affection that left has for foreign dictators - apparently a fascist gangster like Putin gets in under the habits formed when it was other Soviet gangsters and others who had their support.  I have to say it and the memory of things like Cockburn's columns mentioned above, killed off any residual affection or trust I had for such entities.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"you're an anticatholic conspiracy theorist" - Hate Mail From A Different Direction Than Usual

I have got to go do an errand, I don't have time to develop a fuller answer.  Here, though, is a passage from a kissy face New York Times piece about the now defrocked, sexually abusive (women, not little boys that we know of, yet) Opus Dei priest, C. John McCloskey III, one of the bigger right-wing media priests of the recent past.  This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about, though it's a hell of a lot bigger than that.

Some priests are known for their work among the poor, others for their learning, still others for decades of service to a parish. The Rev. C. John McCloskey III, a priest of the traditionalist Opus Dei order, has a different calling. He makes converts, often of the rich and Republican.

He has personally prepared for conversion to Catholicism, among others, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas; the Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork; the columnists Robert D. Novak and Lawrence Kudlow; the conservative publisher Alfred S. Regnery; the anti-abortion activist Bernard Nathanson; and Lewis E. Lehrman, an investment banker and former candidate for governor of New York.

Father McCloskey, 61, is hardly the only conservative priest or minister. But few have his knack for persuading political conservatives to adopt a different religion.

The neo-fascist movement in the Catholic Church is full of money and empty of morals.

About The Developing Putinian Nuclear Disaster

Back when neo-atheism was new and at its most obnoxious on lefty blogs and comment threads, back when I was just realizing what a problem it was other than the obvious ballot-box-poison that such atheists were peddling, I remember getting into a massive row with a bunch of them at Eschaton and other places over the, then, hero of such dopes, Sam Harris.  The now infamous passage saying that it might be a good thing to launch nuclear first strikes that would kill tens of millions of innocent people in a day in order to prevent "The Islamic Bomb" figured in it.  I was just learning how to really get under the skin of such atheist idiots so I made the much more modestly murdering suggestion of, instead, going to the root of the problem and killing all of the nuclear scientists of the kind who had been exposed for selling nuclear know-how to the Kim regime in North Korea and who, in fact, are the ultimate source of all of the danger from nuclear technology. 

The idea that killing several thousand scientists, or perhaps fewer, was a lot more fair than killing tens of millions of innocent people was far more of a terrible idea to the college-credentialed atheists than the idea of killing tens of millions of innocents.  That was a major parting of the ways between us, I have seldom been so glad to leave such former ill considered comrades behind me.  I have had that same argument in several forms since then, though not so much involving Sam Harris who has, like Richard Dawkins, given himself cooties as his former fan boys and gals parted ways with them.  

I am reviving my modest proposal in view of this new nuclear catastrophe in Putinia which, as the gangster regimes lies and cover up gives way, is getting ever worse.  If they're now admitting to the horrific original news, it can only be because things are far worse.   I don't feel sorry for the nuclear scientists and technicians who have been killed and contaminated - no doubt to die later - I feel sorry for the innocent people who will die and be injured, the wildlife that will die, who knows who else who will die as a result of their science.   Such scientists are the ultimate source for what they produce, for what they propose for what they dream up.  They are probably the foremost evidence that the creators of the story of the fall of man by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, of stories such as Faust were on to something.  


I don't know the supposed religious nature of the nuclear scientists who produced these disasters - atheists love to brag that they fucking OWN science, man - but they certainly aren't moral people.  They are likely to get us all killed, certainly many of us, through the replacements of morality in instrumental and utilitarian systems of reasoning, of the sheer nihilistic depravity that is the result of the materialism that so many of them adhere to.  I have recently posted a criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church which, recently, suspended the practice of blessing nuclear weapons - to the objection of some nationalist Orthodox clergymen.  I think that such Orthodox collaborators with Putin's regime are a variation on the corrupted, Nazi enthusiasts of Nazi "Positive Christianity".  In many ways, I think, the Putin regime is going to reproduce what Hitler did only, now, with nuclear capability.   Putin is, I am convinced, a cynical gangster with no moral convictions or religious beliefs at all.  Exactly the kind of person you would have expected would rise in the KGB and out of the corrupt, incompetency of the Yeltsin government.   I don't see the Patriarch of Moscow as any kind of opponent of this depravity.   I think Putin is merely a more skilled and manipulative gangster than Hitler was, and Hitler was bad enough for being good at that.  His rapprochement with the Russian Orthodox establishment is sheer cynicism by a man of no religious conscience.  The Orthodox hierarchy has no such excuse, they're not supposed to do that.   But science, of course, takes no position on the morality of any of it, it is the prime example of how instrumental reasoning is a maladaptation that might end up killing us all. 

The Education Of Kenny - A Rant In Response To His Latest Evil

Ken Cuccinelli, tool of racist, fascist depravity,  can be added to the list of morally depraved Republican fascists who are a product of elite Catholic prep schools, Gonzaga College High School, that includes such figures of pure, cruel, opportunistic evil as Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and so many others in and around the Trump administration, serving the closest we have had to the most vulgar of late medieval gangster strong man rulers, a devoted worshiper of Mammon and himself while posing as Catholic-Christians - though as I understand it, in the case of Gorsuch and Thomas, posing as Anglo-Catholics in right-wing Episcopalian churches, the last I heard. 

The product of elite Catholic education and Catholic education in general is certainly varied but the status of some of its most evil alumni and alumnae should be extremely troubling to the Jesuits and other teaching orders who run these training grounds of elite criminals and gangsters.  

I think the continued existence of such elite Catholic prep schools, expensive and selective for the elites they serve, are an important part of the more general Catholic-establishment edifice complex in which the institutions turn into objects of veneration, devotion, and, in every practical meaning of the word, worship.  The eminence of such institutions, like all elite institutions, are both a sign and a practice of corrupted morality.  I know in the wake of the exposure they got in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings there was a lot of talk about reforming such elite Catholic schools, especially boys' schools but I wouldn't count on anything more than that talk to happen.  Such elite institutions will always service their rich patrons and supporters and they are exactly the kinds of people who have no problem with the perverted amorality of such people as Kavanaugh.  I didn't see any elite - rich Catholic backlash as the prep school days of Kavanaugh and his posse was laid out in florid detail for the world to hear.  

The best thing to do with those places, if the Catholic orders, organizations, institutions who run them were interested in not gaining a chunk of the world at the loss of their souls, would be to shut them down, sell the physical plants, perhaps preserving green space they own, using the assets to serve the poor, the downtrodden, the people who Cuccinelli wants to edit out of Emma Lazarus's most famous poem.  

Of course that won't happen, the idiotic movie Shoes of the Fishermen in which the first Slavic Pope sold the Vatican to feed the poor was a piece of Hollywood crap.   In reality the first one managed one of the most corrupt modern papacies and he adored everything about the lavish spectacle and centralized power that is the absolute worst part of Catholicism.   Francis is doing better but his papacy is fighting against the entrenched fascism that John Paul II and Benedict XVI appointed to so many bishops palaces and to head institutions of the Catholic Church.  He is clearly afraid of a right-wing schism and is so afraid of that, led by the likes of the putrid drag-queen queer basher sometimes partner with Steve Bannon, Cardinal Raymond Burke and assorted gangsters in red and purple caps, that Francis is in danger of leading many of us to despair.  There is a large group of ultra-rich Catholic millionaires and billionaires funding an anti-Francis putsch, already.

I doubt that he, unlike the Wojtyla pope, saw Shoes of the Fishermen in all its unrealistic stupidity.  In real life it was the Slavic Pope who reignited the inquisition that censured and silenced theologians, those represented in the movie, Hans Kung clearly one of them.  I was convinced that the Cardinals who elected him did so because they saw that piece of junk.  

But if Francis wanted to make an even more impressive gesture, impressive because it would be real and would strike at the heart of the rich elite who are his enemies,  might I suggest that he do exactly what I described, sell off the parts of the church that service the elite, preparing them to be the Kavanaughs, the Cuccinellis, the Clarence Thomases and worse, sell them off to serve the ones that they are crushing under their feet.   If he's waiting for a reform from those in the hierarchy and in charge of such institutions, there aren't enough merely reforming papacies left before the Second Coming to do it that way.  

Of course, there is just a possibility that Francis, being the first Latin American Pope, might understand that, by a very large percentage, the people Cuccinelli is trying to exclude and destroy are Catholics. Though that shouldn't make the slightest difference in their right to justice and asylum. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Redux, Redux, Redux, . . . Stupid Mail

So you don't want to believe me.    How about Eric Alterman? 

For the purposes of defining liberalism today, the most common objection to the Rawlsian pardigm comes from the communitarians, who borrow considerably from the same republican precepts of America's founders that come into conflict with the more liberal ideas popular at the time of America's origins more than two hundred years ago.  To what degree, asks the political philosopher Michael Sandel, are our liberal virtues fashioned in relative isolation, and to what extent can they be found embedded in relations with others?   Are we, ultimately, atomistic, individual beings or members of various interlocking communities?   "Rawlsian liberalism defines certain actions as beyond the bounds of a decent society,"  Sandel complains, "but wherein lies its commitment to the good, the noble of purpose, the meaning, as it were, of life?"
For guidance in these intractable liberal positions,  the historian James T. Kloppenberg suggests we turn to one of civilizations oldest moral traditions, and one whose roots are shared by most Americans:  Christianity.  Conceptually,  Kloppenberg notes, the central virtues of liberalism descend directly from the cardinal virtues of early Christianity:  "prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice."   He adds that "the liberal virtues of tolerance, respect, generosity, and benevolence likewise extend St. Paul's admonition to the Colossians that they should practice forbearance, patience, kindness and charity." 

This view is reinforced by the arguments of Jurgen Habermas, post war Europe's most significant liberal philosopher and perhaps the last great voice of the once preeminent (and neo-Marxist) Frankfurt School. "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civiliaztion,"  Habermas told then cardinal Joseph Ratinger, now Pope Benedict, during a January 2004 conversation,  "To this day, we have no other option [than Christianity].  We continue to nourish ourselves from this source.  Everything else is postmodern chatter."  No one understood this better than Franklin Delano Roosevelt.   Asked by a reporter about his political philosophy,  FDR replied, "Philosophy?  I am a Christian and a Democrat -  that is all."

Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America
 By Eric Alterman

Note, he doesn't only cite Jurgen Habermas, agreeing with me about what Habermas said,  he also cites the historian  James Kloppenberg saying the same thing. 

You know, I posted this quote on this very blog four and a half years ago.  I believe you were trolling me then, I know Stupy was, you guys never, ever listen, you're ineducable.   That was one of the huge surprises I got when encountering you guys online, you're as much a bunch of ignorant, static loci of predigested prejudices as any identifiable group on the right.  I grew up believing atheists were intellectuals, they turn out to be largely untellectuals.

What Really Has Powered Liberal Change In America What Has Disempowered It

One of the most important things I've learned in the last twenty years has been how truly hard it is to change peoples' minds for the better.  How hard it is to overcome self-interest - a fancy word for selfishness - the inertia of comfort, self-satisfaction, habit, laziness, etc.  to get people to even save their own lives.   Contented snobbery and self-image and fashion are probably as important, especially among the credentialed and affluent.

Part of that was through watching two of my siblings drink themselves to death while otherwise not mentally ill, both of them atheists hostile to religion.

Part of it was watching my country go from the depravity of the illegitimate president, Bush II to the moderate correction of that in Obama and then, through the media appeal to racists, primarily, but also through other weaknesses, misogyny in no small part, to the utter depravity of the illegitimate regime of Trump.  A large part of it was in watching the elite media, the New York Times as good an example as any, normalize Trump and Republican-fascism, even normalizing what brought him to the presidency by a conspiracy to use the media by billionaires, domestic and foreign.  

And a big part of it was by being a close-up witness to the idiocy on the supposed left, the secular left, that claimed to champion equality, democracy, the salvaging of the environment and protection of the basis of life but who couldn't even face the reality that a lot of this came about through its ideological holdings that were put into place by the Supreme Court during the Warren Period, prepared by some earlier and often ill suited heroes of liberals and peddled by lawyers with a financial and professional interest through their paid representation of media companies, the entertainment industry and who worked on behalf of neo-Nazis, fascists, Klansmen, etc.  The pious holdings of 1950s and 1960s liberalism helped pave the way for what came later, the successful use of freely spread poison appealing to the worst in us which has successfully thwarted the other, stated intentions of the secular left but whose loss through the campaign their theories of libertarian free speech and free press is clearly a secondary matter to them.  That most of that came from fairly affluent to truly affluent, white liberals, most of them males,  is certainly relevant to how and why they have been willing to allow corporate fascists a chance to destroy any progress made in the agenda of equality for those who are oppressed,  self-government by an adequately and honestly informed public and not even the environment on which even their own rich white, most often male lives depend on.  


I have come to the conclusion that it takes a hell of a lot to change even individuals for the better, it takes a choice to believe in what will be effective in changing ourselves, not to mention society and a country.  I have come to see that education and science and reason alone won't do that.   The belief they will is a foundational folly of current liberalism.  I have come to see that even having adequate information available to a country won't do it.  Having a well-informed, well-educated, competent formation can only get you a more competent, more capable gangster such as William Barr, such as Trump's more competent or merely wily staffers.   

Without the right kind of moral foundation, firmly held, you just get more ruthless gangster governance such as we have under Trump, foisted on us by the clean-handed, well educated elite of Ivy League law schools and their equivalents using Constitutional casuistry which their fellows in the elite media will sell, no matter how depraved the results are.  


Hans Kung's book I'm posting excerpts from,  Why I Am Still A Christian, is not primarily a book about saving egalitarian democracy, freedom, and all the rest of what I'm talking about, including whether or not we destroy ourselves by destroying the biosphere for the profit of billionaires.  It is a book of why someone should make the choice for Christianity - though he is more than generous in regard to other religions in that regard, few contemporary writers are more generous in that regard than Kung has been.  

But I do think there is much in it that does, in fact, provide the moral foundation on which egalitarian democracy, a sustainable life can rest on.  And that could begin in what it provides individuals if they make that choice.  Taking up where I left off yesterday:

It is only now, and with the utmost caution, that I introduced the idea that has been misused by so many in order to enslave humanity and to deceive with false consolation:  the cross, or, rather, the One crucified, enables us to cope even with the negative element.  Who can deny that human existence - under whatever social and economic system, and even after all reforms and revolutions - is and remains an existence shot through with pain, anxiety, guilt, suffering, sickness, and death and is in this sense a thwarted and unsatisfactory thing?   But this frustrated existence of ours acquires an indisputable meaning in the light of the resurrection of Jesus.  For no suffering in the world can dismiss the offer of meaning - it is no more than an offer - presented in the suffering and death of the One who was raised to life.  For the person who trusts in God, even the negative, even the greatest danger, the utmost loneliness, futility, nullity, guilt and emptiness are encompassed by a God who identifies himself with humanity, even if we do not perceive this at the time.  We are not under any illusions here:  there is no way of ignoring the negative things.  What we are given is the ability to endure without self-pity, a way through, a future to which our own live and suffering leads.  This does not mean seeking out the negative, but enduring it;  not merely enduring it, but fighting against it. 

I will stop here and say that this passage reminds me, first and foremost of James Cone's last great sermon, The Cross And The Lynching Tree and the part that the Black Churches have played in the resistance to exactly what in the American system what has to be fought.  It is remarkable that both of these great Christian theologians begin this theme confessing the abuse of the cross and Jesus.  And the rest of what Kung said in this book also parallels Cone's observations on how that use of it is wrong and how the exact opposite is the true meaning of it. And, most significantly for my commentary on it, it's productivity in terms of American politics and the politics of egalitarian democracy and, I am convinced, the wider results that are obtainable only through government of, by and for a People convinced of the moral foundations found in such religion.

In the Spirit of the One Crucified, a struggle against all the negative aspects of the condition of human life and their causes is possible at a very much deeper level by both individuals and society.  That is:

- a struggle to ensure respect for human dignity against all animosity toward humanity - and even to the point of love for one's enemies;

- a struggle for freedom against all oppression - and even to the point of selfless service; 

- a struggle for justice against all injustice and even to the the point of voluntarily surrendering one's rights;

- a struggle against all selfishness - and even to the point of giving up things we own;

- a struggle for peace against all strife - and even to the point of infinite reconciliation. 

Why, then am I committed to the essential Christian values?  Here is a third answer, which gives a last clarification:  I know what I can rely on, what I can hold on to, because I believe in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who is alive today, who is the Spirit of God himself, who is the Holy Spirit.  This living Spirit enables me and countless others to be truly human:  not only to act in a truly human way, but also to suffer;  not only live, but also to die - because in everything, both positive and negative, in all happiness and unhappiness, we are sustained by God and can sense our fellow human beings.  And in this sense we as Christians represent not just any kind of humanism but a truly radical humanism:  a humanism that goes to the roots, since it is able to embody not merely the true, the good and the beautiful, whatever is human and humane, but also the untrue, the bad, and the ugly., whatever is all-too-human and even inhuman.  These things too it is able, suffering and struggling to embrace positively

This list includes exactly those things which self-satisfied, content, lazy liberals as much as conservatives are willing to sacrifice equality, decency, democracy, even the environment for.  

In the case of liberals nothing has been more of a temptation than the assertion of depravities misidentified as "rights" such as an asserted right to lie, a right to lie for self-profit, a right to lie to harness racism, misogyny for profit and self-satisfaction, etc.  The fetish of "rights" even when those are clearly evils misidentified as rights, is strong enough that the ACLU has championed the "right" of Nazis to try to reproduce the rule of the Nazis here, of Stalinists to, more ineffectively, try to reproduce Stalinism here, of the "rights" of American terrorists and murderers to promote their depravity, of corporations to lie and destroy the environment and the rights of workers to a decent life and decent working condition.   That such "liberals" end up championing the rights of fascists and enemies of liberalism, witnessed for more than half a century of ever worsening conditions, lead me to conclude that their devotion to the traditional American liberal agenda is less than sincere.  

Witnessing the secular left of the past fifty years of ever worsening result of secularism under their theories of rights has left me to be entirely unimpressed with the results of secularism and the secularization of the left.  I am unimpressed with the devotion of secular humanism to the values they claim to hold onto with the weak and ineffective library paste of preference and the kind of contentedness that is so characteristic of passive, lazy, satisfied people.   And a lot of them were hardly what they claimed to be.  A lot of them were atheists who wanted a cover story that was more acceptable to people who had no stake in what they really wanted, the trust-fund millionaire who bought out the original Humanists, Corliss Lamont primarily wanted to promote the atheism he wrote about in his doctoral dissertation, his devotion to atheism led to him supporting the Hitler equivalent of Stalin probably longer than almost any other communist on North America - a few of those still exist.   I think promoting his own, cherished, claim to intellectual distinction was his primary motivation in that.  I don't think it sold very well, though it was much promoted in lefty circles.  His devotion to Stalinism provides material to meditate on Kung's point about the ultimate failure of revolutions and even reforms.

In the meantime I am far more impressed with the accomplishments of the American religious left, a short list of some of them are contained in James Cone's sermon.  They provided the real power behind the last great period of American liberalism, during the Johnson administration.  Nothing in the meantime, provided by "enlightened self-interest" and scientistic materialism has had that record of success.  Secular leftism is and has been a near total failure and I think that is because secularism can fuel self interest, it can't effectively provide the power to do what we need to do.  I think that possibility of success in the religious left, such as The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr embodied, constitutes actual evidence of the truth of their beliefs.

As James Cone said:

We should not turn away from the Cross because people use it for evil.  The Cross is the most empowering symbol of God's loving solidarity with the least of these, the unwanted in society who suffer daily from the great injustices

Monday, August 12, 2019

"Why Don't You Stop Writing This Shit Nobody Reads" - Hate Mail

Oh, that's an easy one. 

Because I like writing it and posting it.  

The troll tantrums are just a bonus.

Are you calling yourself a "nobody"?  Apparently I'm to believe you read it.

Thoughts On Reports Of William Barr Secretly Seeing Jeffrey Epstein In Prison Recently

I AM going to speculate that the reason the totally unqualified, uncredentialed Jeffrey Epstein got a job teaching at a top-level elite prep school from Donald Barr, William Barr's father was that either Epstein had something on one or both of the Barrs, père et fils, or others close to them.  I won't give William Barr or those close to him a level of presumption of innocence that he doesn't give to toddlers, children, their parents, poor people, etc.  

The story that a mobster insider has told that not long before Epstein was first found with lesions on him that William Barr visited him in prison should certainly be followed up on.  Especially as Barr's boss, Trump is pushing the outlandish Clinton centered lies that anyone could have predicted would be injected into the news cycle.

If that is how things are being done under Trumpian fascism, those are the standards they should face, too.  As I have said before, Nixon's hypocrisy as a "law and order" candidate who went on to run a flagrantly criminal administration, to be followed by other such ones in Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Trump, has made me conclude that public officials who commit crimes or who are accused of crimes should be treated with the exact same rules that they advocate or practice for others.   Besides that, it would have had to be something massive for Donald Barr to put his position running an elite prep school in the jeopardy that the record suggests ended his career at the Dalton School.  

Donald Barr, by the way, was given a position on The National Council on Education Research by Ronald Reagan.  That family is deep in the Republican-fascist system.   It makes you wonder if Ronald Reagan ever partied or traveled with Jeffrey Epstein or who in his administration may have.  I wonder if evidence exists. 

Given their power to destroy lives through "law and order" to allow their fellow elite criminals to get off for the most serious of crimes, to pardon them, to advocate their pardons (as William Barr has) I have no problem making their rules and practices apply to them.  To hell with presumptions of innocence and rules of evidence for Republican-fascists in the age of Republican-fascist character assassination, they get the same treatment.

Stupid Mail

Apparently Stupy doesn't believe that Trump being on The Apprentice, probably his major venue of fame, has anything to do with his political success.  I guess all of those people who saw him there and voted for him were totally uninfluenced by it.  Also, too, his racist, violent audience has been totally uninfluenced by the media they imbibe. 

It makes you wonder why that would have no effect when his other media appearances apparently did.  Or is all media supposed to have no effect on the people who spend - on average - 35 hours a week watching it.  No effect at all. 

Makes you wonder how they get away with selling air time for commercials, that must have even less of an effect than the programming. 

But, then, Stupy thinks it's shameful that I never saw a Gwyneth Paltrow movie and that I don't go to restaurants.  Such is the concept of high culture among the college credentialed Brain Trusters of Eschaton.  He probably spends most of his non-TV time writing himself into Poldark fan fiction. 

Update:  Too bad I'm not posting him, he's proving what I said, he's both retarded and reading-impaired by choice and preference.   Maybe it's yet another side-effect of atheism, if you don't believe that right and wrong are more than socially varied and ephemeral, maybe even more localized lapses of integrity, such as in their reading life, are acceptable, too.

It's just so, so very stupid. 

Update 2:  And now the Village Idiot of Queens is trying to change the subject because only an idiot would claim that the public persona, Trump, a 100% creation of the American entertainment industry as a politician as Ronald Reagan before him, gained power without the media creating their public personas and selling them to the public.  

Apparently the supposed expert in pop "culture" doesn't understand how selling crap TO THE PUBLIC, WHAT MAKES IT POPULAR  WORKS.  Which shows you just how stupid you can be and work as an expert in pop "culture".

I should go into the use of false dichotomy by mentally deficient, lying play lefties because that's their first resort AFTER just lying.  That America's media presents only the pseudo-left as an alternative to Republican fascism in most cases is, as well, a false dichotomy.  

If these mentally deficient and reading impaired by choice play lefties and their ideas were going to change things, they would have by now because they've been saying these same old things my entire life and it just keeps getting worse and worse.  
"More speech" is impotent in the face of mass media lies.  If that were not the case, things wouldn't be worse than they've been since the Supreme Court let the media corrupt us with its freely spread poison most of it designed and created to appeal to the worst of white American men and their violent, racist, sexist fantasies.  If you want an answer as to why the United States has its uniquely terrible place in the list of countries with mass killings, it's the combination of things I cited.  The "Second Amendment" provides the weapons that the media freed to do so by "The First Amendment" encourages be used as they are.  Liars on the fascist right want to ignore the first part of the problem, liars on the fascist "left" right want to ignore the second part of the problem.  The media, even the "liberals" in it won't talk about the part they and others play under "The First Amendment" because it's as unprofitable for their industry as the gun industry suppresses the part "The Second Amendment" plays in gun violence.  The mythologized history of the country, in slave holding, in genocideal theft of a continent, in a thousand other ways gives them the raw material to encourage violence because violence sold through sex sells.  It's no wonder that the most liable to violence, taking in those messages act on them. 

As I said this morning, I will continue presenting a real basis of a real left, of real egalitarian democracy from Hans Kung, tomorrow.

Alternatives To Consumerist, Atheist, Modernist-Scientistic Immobility

One of the most abject failures of the secular left is due to the disasters of both its most ambitious forms - Marxism - and its lower energy forms in secular liberalism.  Marxism - totally misidentified as anything other than an alternative form of the most violent of gangster government - lies discredited by the history of Marxist government in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Its mountain range of murder victims is a match for its supposed equivalents on the "right" Nazism, fascism, capitalism, certainly on a per-capita basis.  You have to count Marxism's death rate in the same class as European feudalism in the Western hemisphere - which is certainly as large though slower - and the Mongol empire which may be the aptest comparison to human organized murder in the age of technology.  

The American secular left is wedded to a number of self-defeating and suicidal fads and fashions, Marxism*, other forms of materialism, scientism, some pretty goofy and clearly anti-leftist forms of  consumerism**, whatever Hollywood's and other entertainment industry "lefts" are peddling these days. 

The academic "left", when it isn't overtly practicing the above have the decided tendency to go all timid and unaspiring and unimpressive in the ridiculous and ineffective modesty of their intentions and aspirations.  I think they've been talked out of that by the dismal, discouraging, dispiriting*** "human nature" presented by a social-scientistic-materialistic view of what people are and what they always will be.   Modernism, scientific materialist views of human beings and societies present a more radically static view of the possibility of change than, perhaps, even classical paganism or something like reigned in ancient Egypt under the Pharaonic system which, notably, God freed the Children of Israel from with the help of Moses. 

You can contrast that with this ambitious list out of Hans Kungs short and surprisingly good, non-scholarly book, Why I Am Still A Christian

This basic model of essential values in individual and social life does not of course aim merely at providing internal, spiritual, and mental comfort.  It involves a conversion of the heart; a new attitude which can change the world!  It makes actually possible what so many are calling for today, with the prevailing lack of direct, lack of norms, lack of meaning;  with the prevailing drug addition, criminality, and violence.  It make actually possible what is so important for both the religion and politics of Christians, for their social and economic policies, for their educational and development policies.  If I can set it out:  this Jesus Christ and his Spirit, who is the energy and power of God himself, makes actually possible 

- new awareness.  He makes possible a standpoint beside which many others can be judged.  He requires a new, more humane attitude to life, and a new life-style itself.  As individuals and together, we may and can live differently, more authentically , more humanely, when we have this Christ Jesus before us as a specific example for our fundamental relationships with others, society, the world of God.  This new attitude gives us identity and integrity in our individual lives, and a confident independence and motivation to act in today's world.  

- new motivations:  From his "theory" and "practice" we can deduce new motives for individual and social action.  In his light, it is possible to answer those questions with which we started out and which are so difficult to answer purely rationally:  why we should not act in one particular way but in another, why we should not be wicked and inhumane but should be humane and good,  why we should not hate but love, why we should not promote violence and war but should affirm non-violence and promote peace.  In the light of Jesus Christ it is possible to answer even the question of Freud,  with all his brilliant insight, could not answer:  why we should still be honest, considerate and kind whenever possible, even if this is to our disadvantage and we are made to suffer through the carelessness and brutality of others. 

- new attitudes:  In his Spirit we can develop and maintain new, reliable insights and attitudes.  We can find in him help - not only occasionally but dependably - to form new attitudes with all the required subtleties, which are capable of guiding individual and social behavior successfully:  attitudes of unpretentious commitment to our fellow human being, identification with the underprivileged, and opposition to unjust institutions;  attitudes of gratitude, freedom, magnanimity, unselfishness, and joy, as well as consideration, pardon and service; attitudes which prove themselves in difficult situations, in preparedness for sacrifice, in the fullness of self-giving and in renunciation - sometimes when not absolutely necessary in dedication to a greater cause. 

- new action:  By his Spirit we are enabled to act on a larger or smaller scale, not only in general programs for social change, but also in detailed, practical way for the benefit of individuals and society.

- new aims:  Through his Spirit there comes what so many people miss today - the meaning and ultimate purpose of our life and our history in this last and first reality which is the consummation of humanity through God's kingdom.  It is precisely this meaning and this purpose that permit us to live our present earthly lives differently;  and that means live not only as a history of successes, but also as a history of suffering, for the individual and for humanity as a whole.  

This last point needs to be expressed more exactly.  Non-Christians often describe themselves as humanists, but we Christians too are no less humanists.  The crucial test of both non-Christian humanism and Christian humanism lies in their capacity to deal with the negative aspect of reality.  While it is easy enough to say that we approve of everything that is human, human,e true, good and beautiful, what if we continually come up against the inhuman, mannequin, untrue, bad, and ugly, in our individual lives and in society,  and if we cannot simply talk these negative things out of existence?  How then is the negative side to be dealt with?  

I'll continue with this, tomorrow.

I'm tempted to, once again, go into that much disputed passage from Jurgen Habermas which I've brawled over with online atheists at length and about which they are, apparently, till lying.  I do think it's clear that atheists, having a lie they've told about something exposed, exhaustively, will just keep repeating the lie you've refuted.  They do, indeed, have a lot to do with the vulgar materialism of Trump and his supporters - especially the "evangelicals" whose materialism is exposed as obviously as rotten peaches on my sister's peach tree.  Note that the "modernity" that Habermas attributes to Christianity is an egalitarian-democratic interpretation of the word that I would say is decidedly not the same thing that I've critisized.  I think it's more the minority POV among modernists than the majority of modernists.  Modernism has been, mostly, destructive of egalitarian democracy.   A yen for the new and modern, to be seen as up-to-date the consumerist part of that, has certainly been a disaster for the environment.   I'll go with Jack Levine on that.

*  One of the most disheartening things I've seen in this latest run for the Democratic nomination by Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, the enthusiasm about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's election was how many socialists still frame their "socialism" in Marx's or Marxists' framing which is anti-democratic state-socilism, Leninism etc.  Nothing is more discrediting of socialism than to tie it to the corpse of dialectical materialism.  That is one of the reasons I think that for the promotion of "democratic socialism" nothing is more counterproductive than to use the word "socialism" for it.  

** I was thinking of how shocked I was when I first looked at that flower of the hippy period, The Whole Earth Catalogue and The Last Whole Earth Catalogue, it was nothing but a Sears-Roebuck Wish Book for tech-back-to-the-lander play lefties - AND IT WAS SATURATED WITH THE MOST VULGAR KIND OF CONSUMERIST ENTREPRENEUR BS PLAYING HIPPY.   The idea that anything that is the focus of fashion is not going to go that way is absurd. 

*** Literally, there is nothing more dispiriting than atheist-scientistic-materialism.  How could anyone possibly avoid being discouraged by it for anything but the violent, cruelly insouciant self-indulgence that is the plague of humanity.  Something like that entered into the literature of atheist materialism as early as we have records of that in Carvarka an Roman materialism.  There is nothing to build egalitarian democracy out of in it.  There is everything to build Trumpism in it. 

NOTE:  One of the problems with the ideology of modernism is, as dear old Jack Levine noted in the masthead of this blog, modernism is an ideology of what's new.  What becomes of modernism when that modernism gets old?  As modernism as an ideology is old enough to have had the modernism of the past become old, not new, not "modern" what, then, of that modernism, what might be styled as the "original" or more original, or more nearly original modernism as it is succeeded by newer modernism?   "Post-modernism" implies that "modernism" ended, so that doesn't exactly work as a designation, if "modernism" is continuous.  "More modernist"?  Mod modern? Or maybe in the spirit of one of the most obvious practices of it, production for sale, we should have model years of modernism? 

The problem of modernism, for me, started when I found out how many of its major figures and heroes were huge fans of violent, genocidal, dictatorial regimes, fascism, Nazism, Marxism (though Marxists, absorbed in their own, Romanitic German ideological obsessions, didn't make very good candidates for modernists).  It continued as I realized that as with the "enlightenment" it was not only not as sold, its intellectual foundations were a guarantee that it would end up badly. 

When Scribbers and Creators Deny What They Are Trying To Do As They Do It - Hate Mail

I wonder if anyone has ever done an opinion poll trying to discern the extent to which long term and long playing of violent, role playing video gaming might be reasonably suspected of making people more hostile to gun control.  For anything to be accepted as true in the college credentialed minds which control the media, it would have to be presented in that form, such is the sales success in prerequisites in the pseudo-so-called-sciences in university and college degree programs.

I strongly suspect that there is such an association between a number of different forms of entertainment which other entertainers and those in the scribbling class require us to not believe in and certainly not entertain as even a possibility.  Perhaps more strongly when the entertainment requires more than a passive level of consumption. 

It is not an unreasonable suspicion that there is such an association between those who like violent movies and unrealistic movies in which violence is presented not only as positive, but a downright requirement to a sense of male identity and sexual prowess.  The movies, TV, thriller novels, spy novels, horse and cop operas all present violence as positive.   In Westerns and in police stories - which are, more often than not, selling violence through sex - that violence, done by "lawmen" is in itself illegal and in some of the most popular of those, the lawlessness of the lawmen is presented as the key to their admirability and success as heroes.  I've often wished it were possible to find out what cops who shoot black people watch by way of entertainment,  both fictitious and the fiction that gave us Trump, "reality" programming. 

You can count me as one of those who noticed that in the rise and reign of Reagan, Hollywood turned from Alan Alda brand fare to overt fascist chic, glorifying violence, glorifying the military and then officially revived horse opera-cop opera violence when, in fact, those had never really gone away.  The rise of Republican-fascism has been achieved through influencing enough people through the entertainment that they imbibe - they were hardly paying enough attention to actual news programming for that to have an effect, where it did it ran counter to the rise of Republican-fascism, and proved that as compared to entertainment which is, guess what, more entertaining than the reporting of fact, fact got smaller audiences and, so, was less influential. 

This phenomenon of even the smartest of media folk, of which the scribbling class is a part, often merely aspiring to have an audience, who discount the malignant effect of entertainment violence, the promotion of toxic masculinity - not to mention the required toxic femininity that it requires - through the presentation of sexy violence done by sexy toxic male characters, retrograde, fascist political beliefs and their subsequent enactment through voting,  . . . the spectacle of the creative part of the media denying that the very things that they do for a living do not have the very effect they desire - TO EFFECT PEOPLES' BEHAVIOR THROUGH WHAT THEY SHOW THEM - is emblematic of the mass delusion of the educated class, the college credentialed crowd.   It is the very hallmark of typical human depravity and hypocrisy by those with a financial or merely aspirational interest in denying what they do. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

An Open Message To L. P. - Hate Mail

About the worst way in the world to deny that you're OC over what I say is to post seven long, well, six long ones and one short angry, ranting comments at me full of stuff that addresses nothing I ever said and some things I said the opposite of what you claim I did. 

Keep it under three, be accurate and I might post them and might answer them.  I think you have a real problem of addressing a stereotype of a liberal that doesn't have much to do with who I am and what I say.  I get that a lot.  Look at what Stupy has said from the pseudo-left. 

I think one of the bases of Judeo-Christian-Islamic, etc. morality is to treat people as individuals instead of stereotypes.  I know sociological, anthropological and psychological habits of thinking are hard to overcome - that the social "sciences" promote the same old habits of entrenched human folly that traditional forms of sterotypical racism, ethnic bigotry, sexism, etc. practice is part of why I concluded that modernism is a folly.  Not bearing false witness is highly relevant to that and not bearing false witness is only ever effectively practiced on a widespread basis in a religious context, it's hard to do even within one but it almost never happens outside of it. 

Think about it.