Saturday, October 5, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Gregg Taylor - Black Jack Justice

Another busy week, another week of not finding a new radio drama to post.  So I'm going to introduce or re-introduce my readers to the great, very funny series of hard-boiled detective stories featuring Black Jack Justice (Christopher Mott) and Trixie Dixon Girl Detective (Andrea Lyons).  Hard to tell who's the more hard boiled of them.  There are lots of stories to choose from they kept it up for fourteen seasons of stories plus a book.  I'd recommend starting at the beginning and listening through, there's a slight variation in quality but I didn't find any of them fell below quite good.  They're an inspiration of what's possible with minimal materials in service to good stories, amusing dialog, and good voice actors.  Other recurring characters include Lieutenant Victor Sabien (voiced by Gregg Taylor) and Freddie "The Finger" Hawthorn (Peter Nichol).  All of the episodes give full credits, something I really like to hear.

I wish more of the audio-drama community would drop the sci-fi, fantasy stuff.  It's discouraging to look for something new to post when most of it falls into those categories.   They're too easy.  You can just make up any old thing.   You can have fun without resorting to those.


I'm still dealing with the aftermath of the loss of a family member.  Not so much the emotional part as the exhausting practical part of dealing with things, I'm their executor.  So I'm taking it a bit easier than usual, here.  Long posts only a few times a week, for now.  I hope to get it over with before winter.  

Hate Mail - Simps The Jacob Wohl Of Play-Lefty Obscurity

Simps is the superannuated Jacob Wohl of the obscure play left.  So obscure that instead of whipping up ridiculous sex scandals about Mueller, Buttigeig and Warren, he's reduced to lying about bloggers as obscure as me.  And what does that say about the idiots who believe him.  What he's good for is to show that some people a. never learn a thing, b. never grow up.

I have to wonder at the phenomenon of the likes of Stephen Miller, Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer.   A few more examples and it looks like a syndrome looking for a name.

I think of all Wohl's targets, Elizabeth Warren has had the best response so far.

Friday, October 4, 2019

About The Inevitable Impeachment

I have had a little push-back from a bore of little brain because I said that I was sure Nancy Pelosi suspected that Trump would eventually make the case for his impeachment unimpeachable.   I think she probably understood that he would make that case with his own mouth, especially as he's been melting down with more insanity.   Now I notice one of the bores buddies is whining that the Democrats might not throw the book at him, the far from clear and obvious (though certainly true) impeachable offenses along with the ones Trump confirmed and committed and recommitted for the TV cameras yesterday.   As if they have the experience and wisdom of Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler, etc,

One of the things that pretty well has been finished off in the past year is the hopes I'd once placed in the amateur selfie-media of which I am arguably a part.  That died in the whining and tantrums in the play-left media of that kind.  While there are some really good online writers, the promise of this new media stuff that we had such high hopes for have pretty well petered out.   As a force, it's mixed enough so the effect is probably a wash, in terms of making any progress.   

There is one thing I've concluded, anyone who is whining, in effect, "aren't we there yet" is a child who will never be anything more than one.  Nancy Pelosi's taking her time turns out to have been exactly the right thing to do, even though I'm still hearing that whine from her critics.   Some of that is understandable.  The possibility that impeachment will not work to remove Trump or the Republican-fascists in Congress is real.  But trying to make it go faster than it can be done effectively is certainly a wore chance to take.   I think Trump as he comes more unglued will probably perform more articles of impeachment as his henchmen are exposed as the criminals and gangsters and traitors they are. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Best Hope We Have Of The West Returning To The Road Of Egalitarian Democracy And Economic Justice

Marx is master and teacher for Marxists and Freud for Freudians.  Jesus of Nazareth is certainly also master and teacher for the life of Christians.  But he is also essentially more than that.   As the one who was killed and raised to life, he is for believers the living authoritative embodiment of his cause.  In all that he is, in all that he said, did and suffered, he personifies the cause of God and the cause of humanity.   And so he calls us to discipleship.  For some this is too lofty a word, and in its challenge almost alarming.  But do not let us misunderstand  what discipleship means.  Certainly the living Christ does not call merely for adoration without practical commitment, nor simply for us to say "Lord, Lord" or "Son of God, Son of God."  But neither does he call us to literal imitation.  It would be presumptuous to want to imitate him.  No, he calls for personal discipleship, not in imitation but in correlation, in correspondence.  That means that I commit myself to him and pursue my own way in accordance with his direction - for each of us has his or her own path to follow.  It is not that we must.  We are not compelled.  Making his way our own was understood from the very beginning as a very great opportunity, not a "must" but a "may,"  not a law to be obeyed slavishly but an unexpected chance and a true gift  that is (and this word too has often been misunderstood) a genuine grace on which we are permitted to rely - a grace that presupposes no more than this one thing;  that I grasp it confidently and try to adapt my life to it.

It is clear in this that the Christianity and, even more so, the Catholicism of Hans Kung is not that of the official orthodox Church or churches.   Those inevitably turn what Kung presents as "a very great opportunity" "a may" into a "must"  laws to be obeyed under obedience to a command but followed, as best we can, as a matter of choice.  

One of the worst things about organized churches is the inevitable tendency to make themselves about the institution of the church, protecting its interests and its traditions, not of living out and promoting the living out of the Gospel. Protecting its hierarchy, its orthodox tenants, its real estate and its regional hegemony, a tendency which started even before the time of imperial persecutions,* never mind the time that Constantine began establishing a supposedly Christian kingdom of this world of exactly the kind that Jesus declared he didn't have, wouldn't have.  

Perhaps that enormous, perhaps fatal accommodation of the worldly powers by Christianity was necessary for Christianity to survive and spread, but it was not done without an enormous cost to the Jesus movement, which had to move away from the radical Gospel which was replaced by orthodox holdings that began to spring up before Constantine began to put imperial force behind codifying church law, inevitably leading to the long history of bloodshed in the name, not of the Gospel but of the semi-secular laws and orthodoxy that were guaranteed to accommodate the kingdoms of this world more than taking the chance on following the teachings of Jesus. 

Even within the various churches, there has always been a tension between those who wanted to get back to the Gospel of Jesus and those worldly clerics and authorities who were, in that putrid word from current American politics, "institutionalists."  Like those who are held up as heroic protectors of their "institutions,"  the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, etc, like that man who were were guaranteed was a stalwart and dependable protector of the rule of law and constitutional order, Robert Mueller, it is clear that there is something seriously inadequate and seriously wrong with the ersatz virtue they embody.   In every way they are analogous to such other institutionalists, even deputed saints, such as Thomas More who, for all his many and even heroic virtues,* was a man of worldly powers, whether it was in service to the increasingly depraved tyrant of England, Henry VIII or the Pope, Clement VII* a Pope who was known as a statesman, facing the consequences of the Catholic Church as a worldly power, having to choose to either please the King of England or that of Spain, only one of the myraid of worldly problems that came with that status as a worldly power. 

This paragraph from Kung's book is part of his elucidation of  what Christians are to do and, also, where the power to do that comes from.   For non- and anti-Christians, the statements about that are bound to be everything from incomprehensible to outrageous.   That is certainly, in no small part, due to the long history of sectarian strife, of declarations of heresy and the long history of forced conversions to specific sects of Christianity.  But today, in largely secular states where religious freedom is the law, that habit is most like a pantomime of outrage over the question of converting people. 

Again, the name of the book is Why I Am Still A Christian, it isn't, "Become A Christian Or You're Goin' To Burn In Eternal Fire - Let God Sort Them Out".   This is a book that is clearly encouraging the conversion of those who claim to be Christians to the religion that Jesus of Nazareth taught, which is certainly different from any particular denomination or sect or even general kind of Christianity.   In considering what is essential to the teachings of Jesus, I come up with:

The Shama as Jesus articulated it, loving God with all of your being and others as yourself.

Doing for the least among us, the destitute, the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the alien living among us, etc. what we would do for God (Jesus was especially radical in associating these dirty, diseased, despised, un-kewel, unfashionable, needing people as incarnations of God). 

The need to forgive, over and over and over again (perhaps it's as an Irish guy, that's the one I find the hardest).  

The radical economic justice of the parable of the workers in the vinyard, in which compensation for labor gives generously and equally, more generously and equally than hourly wage requirements imagine. 

The even more radical and for most people nearly impossible requirement of giving up all property to give to those least among us.   That is definitely something that hardly any church or denomination has required of its authorities and hierarchs and preachers.  It is something that a few, very radical Christians have tried to practice, certainly St. Francis was the greatest example in the West, but which most of us only manage in "correlation and correspondence".   The history of the early Franciscan movement, sabotaged by the worldly clerics and as many an early deputed Franciscan worked with them to force the Franiscans into holding property, a settled life, intellectual as well as material attainments that Francis warned against, is a microcosm of the historical deviation of Christianity from the Gospel of Jesus.   But there have always been dissidents who wanted to restore Franciscan spirituality to its origins, which were certainly not in the teachings of Francis, he, himself, found them in the teachings of Jesus.  

None of this is simple in practice, it is, though, the best hope for the West to ever get back on the road of egalitarian democracy, social and economic justice, of a decent life for everyone, and for the entire world.   If you can find the same thing in another religious tradition, in as strong a form that will lead people, in large numbers, onto the same road, I have no problem with you doing it under some other name.  But without as strong an authoritative proponent of it as Jesus is supposed to be for Christians, I doubt it will have much success.  I would think that Islam, if they can find it in the teachings of Muhammad, may, well find that same road, given the strong teaching for equality in Islam, they might be more successful than Christianity, though they have their own history of violence and worldly rule to deal with before they can get back onto that road.  Jesus explicitly rejected that route, though you'd hardly know that from the long history of those who claimed to follow him.  If they had the Crusades, for a start, would not have happened. 

*  I will take a major diversion in the order of the book to deal with this point next. 

**  Clement VII, was notably a real intellectual, among other things he approved of the Copernican cosmology about a century before the last of the "Humanist Popes" took offense over Galileo insulting him and returning Catholic cosmology to the earlier orthodox scientific system in which Earth was the center of the universe.   Clearly, the situation concerning that matter is far more complex than the conventional Brit-atheist lore concerning the Galileo trial would have its suckers believe. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Oh, He Said It Again?

Oh, believe me, if I thought there was any way of stopping Steve Simels from telling that lie about me I'd have sued him and Duncan Black seven years back.  

I could have just gotten angry, instead I used the experience to help inform my thinking about how lies in the media are one of the greatest dangers to democratic self-governance and how those who reject the reality of sin don't believe it's a sin to tell a lie.

It was a big chunk of me figuring out the secular-left were a pretty unreliable bunch to put any faith in.  I don't trust people who knowingly post lies about other people and who don't do anything about it.  But, then, Duncan Black doesn't do much about anything and he never did.

What Does Christian Committment Mean In Practice? - Chapter 5 - Hans Kung: Why I Am Still A Christian

I have been doing a political commentary on Hans Kung's very short book, Why I  Am Still A Christian,  a distillation from least three very large books he wrote on the topic of God, Jesus and the afterlife.  Note I said "topic" instead of using the plural because in Christianity, there is no distinction among them. 

In rereading this chapter, one of the things I kept thinking was what a non-Christian who supported egalitarian democracy, egalitarian liberalism would do if he concluded, as a number of thinkers, Jurgen Habermas, James T. Kloppenberg perhaps Eric Alterman, that 

" . . . 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."

Given that even in those societies in which such moral liberalism (in my reading NOT the 18th century libertarian liberalism)* the actual practice of those virtues was far from consistent or universal.   That force which sometimes leads to them is matched by the force of selfishness, self-interest,  hatred, violence, oppression.   It's not as if, even with the profession of a belief in Christianity, the effect comes with that profession.   The Trump "evangelicals" and "traditionalist Catholics" are all you need to look at to see that such Chritianity has nothing to very little to do with the Gospel, the Epistles, The Prophets or the Law.  

Given that, the hostility towards Christianity  you have to wonder why they are so ready to not only attack the hypocrisy of Christians who violate the teachings of Jesus, but attack the very virtues pf the teachings of Jesus that their own enjoyment of democracy and human rights may well depend on.

What is there in the teachings of Jesus that they dislike so much?  I believe Marilynne Robinson's speculation that many of the bright lights of the "enlightenment" didn't like the moral obligation to give up property for the sustenance of the poor had more than a little to do with it.  People with even modest wealth can be as jealous of it as the most miserly billionaire*.   I think in the Brit-atheist tradition that the American one is influenced by - the Russian one being the other major influence on American atheism - is pretty much a phenomenon like that.  The British aristocratic class such as took to 18th century materialism as a relief of moral obligations,  merely modified the anti-Catholic invective they took in with their pablum and extended it to all of Christianity, temporarily toning down the anti-Jewish aspects of that as fashions shifted.   Much of contemporary American atheist invective melds a number of tired and threadbare lines from Brit and mostly Middle-European sources.  


As this chapter is about practice, and so more closely in line with my political commentary, I'll take some time with it. 

Here I can give no more than indications of the general direction we should take.  Let me say at the very beginning that it would be presumptuous in this brief reflection to suggest an approach to every important and topical problem - not least because for different people different problems are important and topical.   What I am concerned about here is fundamental Christian thinking and awareness:  a commitment to the essential Christian values.   Of course these must exert their influence on all the practical questions of the individual and society.  Being a Christian must profoundly influence a person's approach, for example, to the problems of war and peace, violence and non-violence, the struggle for power, the pressure toward more and more consumption;  it must make itself felt in education, it must show itself in service for others.  But here I shall confine myself to the general principles of Christian practice.  Of course one important point must be made.  What I indicate or hint at here is not just what is often reproachfully called "pure theory";  it is the theory behind a practice which is actually lived out day by day by an untold number of people in our churches - or perhaps one should say that an untold number of people try to live in this way, as best they can.  And because of this, I believe our churches remain fundamentally Christian, in spite of all the merely nominal Christianity there is within them.  

Those last points are worth repeating because if there is something that the past two-thousand years of Christianity proves, it is that individuals find it nearly impossible to live up to the actual moral teachings of Jesus,  Christian societies are going to be even less perfect in their adherence to them, nations - officially Christian governments and institutions are among the greatest source of the non-adherence to the words of Jesus, the teachings of Paul, of James, etc. the foremost generators of material for anti-Christian invective to work with.   

What is the point of it, then?   Well, if you apply the same standards of criticism made about Christianity to every single other human activity, endeavor, aspiration you can ask exactly the same question about those.  It is just that while that is the common level of criticism made of religion, it is just about never the standard applied to everything else.   

I will point out that the most sacrosanct entity in modern secular-atheist-scientistic culture, science, its somewhat lower god, technology, has apparently supplied the Kim regime in North Korea with a more powerful and accurate missile that it tested the other day, but no good, right-thinking person will make a moral critique of the science and technology or the mathematics or the engineering that has done that.  It won't, in no small part because the people who invented those, in their modern form, started out by exempting themselves from moral responsibility for what they created.  If they made their inventions and innovations in line with the teachings of Jesus, those with the professional competence to do it would not produce those weapons or any other.  We may all well die by the sword that such professionals make a living on.   I could make a similar point about the reemergence of one of the team of psychologist-entrepreneurs who designed the Bush II era torture regime using what is called science - for which their company was apparently paid tens of millions of dollars.  He has appeared on FOX lying on behalf of Trump's criminality.  

Part of the exemption given to science is based on the required fiction that science is not a humanly invented system of thought and practice, that is is not a result of human choices but some magical means of discerning the universe that is totally independent of human agency.  Which is, of course, totally untrue.  There is no such a thing as a humanly discernible view of the physical universe that is independent of human minds anymore than there is a discernible view of the mind of God that is not conditioned by human abilities, limits, wisdom and choices.  It was one of the conceits of early science, among Descartes, Bacon, Newton, etc. that their use of mathematics gave them such an "objective" view into the mind of God.  That is a fiction which scientists, by and large, and even more so those who replace religion with a cult of science, didn't give up even as they gave up God.  The habits it has made common are extremely dangerous in ways that religion never has been, its dangers have always been more modest.   When you mix in money and politics with scientific magnification of power, it has a potential to kill us and all of life on this planet.  Religion never has had any comparable power and has been one of the few forces pushing against that.   It's nothing Jesus would ever have OKed.  It's nothing fashion, entertainment, consumerism, political ideology is going to end, not unless it takes that saying of Jesus about dying by the sword seriously.   And I can guarantee you, nothing in secular culture is going to do it.  It would have by now if it were going to.

*  In a rational world, billionaire would be affixed with an -ism and it would be considered one of the most dangerous of mental illnesses and obsessions.  Billionaires and millionaires are behind just about ever great crime in human history, denominations and numbers altered for local circumstances.   That is so far more obviously true in history that it is remarkable that their massive criminality and irrationality has seldom, if, really, ever counted much in the invectives of those who are as prepared to believe anything said of religious figures as the ignorant, deluded yahoo I heard the other day is to believe that the Bidens were up to world-class evil in Ukraine even though he isn't a Trump fan.  All he has to do is hear that someone has said something bad about a Democrat for him to believe it.  That is not a dissimilar phenomenon from the one I just mentioned. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

I'm Told I Have No Sense Of Humor

The guy who says it has never told a joke he didn't steal from someone else. 


Bodies Crushed By Freedom Of The Press - On Hearing A Family Member Has Resumed Using

I really wish I could find someone had gone through the program schedules of the biggest 1980s-2000s talk shows to find out the relationship of such widely pushed ideas like "the epidemic of untreated pain," opioid promotion on tv talk shows, I know I heard it on talk shows during that time, some of it probably on NPR, it's what I was mostly listening to then.   I would imagine that was one of the ways that the Sacklers and their ilk got the country back on even more addictive drugs. 

Purdue Pharma was founded in the late 19th century in New York City, and the firm was purchased in the by the Sackler brothers, three physicians. Some years later, the firm began producing opioid pain relievers.

One of the Sackler brothers, Arthur, who died in 1987, had been inducted into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame for his promotional work in helping Valium to become the first US$100 million drug.

In 1996 Purdue Pharma introduced a new drug – a time-released formulation of oxycodone, an opioid painkiller. OyxContin, as the drug was called, was touted as having a low risk of addiction.

Purdue backed OxyContin with an aggressive marketing campaign. Key components of this effort were pain-management and speaker-training conferences in sunshine states such as California and Florida, attended by more than 5,000 physicians, nurses and pharmacists, many of whom were recruited to serve on Purdue’s speakers' bureau.

The company also used a bonus system to incentivize its pharmaceutical representatives to increase OxyContin sales. The average bonus exceeded the representatives’ annual salaries.

Of course, Purdue was not alone in marketing its pain-relieving products in this way. The Oregon assistant attorney general, for example, described the practices of Insys Therapeutics in marketing its oral spray painkiller as “among the most unconscionable I’ve seen.”

Psychiatry, the Sackler family profession, is a criminal and scientific fraud that was a natural to get into drug pushing.   Talk show hosts and programming directors were some of their biggest suckers. 

Update:  One of the idiots who troll me thinks I made this up.  As if the idiot thinks there's something unusual in 2019 in the United States about having a family member who is addicted to opioids (or alcohol, for that matter).  

It’s not just opioids. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 approximately 20.1 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder. About 2.1 million had an opioid use disorder. The biggest group was for alcohol use disorder, with about 15.1 million reporting an alcohol addiction. (A caveat: Since the survey is based on households’ self-reports, these are very likely underestimates.)

But opioids have been the key driver of the recent US increase in drug overdose deaths, from nearly 17,000 overdose deaths in 1999 to more than 64,000 in 2016. We don’t have reliable drug-by-drug data for 2016 yet, but over the previous few years nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths were linked to opioids.

In the United States, in 2019, EVERY major substance abuse problem has a major media component to the problem, in the form of advertising, product placement, media propaganda (note the "honor" given to Arthur Sackler above), etc.  The media are a major venue of promoting addiction.  

It's Been A Really Rough Week For Me - I Want To Listen To The Sweetly Reasonable Rupert Sheldrake

The Media Giveth And The Media Taketh Away - For The Left It Taketh Away Much More Than It Giveth

I think one of the tragic resent results of having the secular-left or, in fact, our politics associated with the world of entertainment is in the end of the Senate career of one of the best Senators of the past decade,  Al Franken.  It was his antics as a performer which were used to destroy him, proving that Democrats will pay a price for far lesser APPEARANCES of wrong-doing than Republicans will never pay for the most serious and destructive REALITIES of wrong-doing.  

The use of puerile show-biz antics engaged in by Al Franken WHILE HE WAS OPERATING IN THE PUERILE WORLD OF SHOW-BIZ to destroy his very serious, very valuable work in the reality of politics, damage done to him by those who are in the world that mixes news and politics and entertainment - as all of the electronic media inevitably does -  proves that that fake world is bad for democracy.  

Show-biz might have made it possible for Al Franken to have become famous enough to run for the Senate, something that has worked a lot better for Republicans as Reagan, Trump, Pence, etc. prove.  But it was also the thing that made him vulnerable to attack.   I would be surprised if someone as smart as Franken is wouldn't agree with that observation about his political career trajectory. 

My point about the play-lefties of the online media having a huge personal and professional interest in attracting viewers and, yeah, right, readers, is that that is their first interest.   If they were realistic about the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren as opposed to Bernie Sanders their play-lefty audience base would turn on them and start making them un-kew-el, such are the real standards of the mostly white, mostly middle to upper-class, mostly college-credentialed play left that formed in college and which never, ever grows up.  

The new-new-left media is as guilty of playing to their audience as the sold-as-new-left - oh, yeah, right "alternative non-commercial" media of "public broadcasting" and the commercial media do.  They've got more in common with right-wing media in that, only the right-wing media is pushed by oligarchic fascists.  

And that's not going into the worst part of it, the granted permission of it to lie with impunity, something which the media-would-be left adores as much as the neo-fascists who are its most notable beneficiaries. 

File this under "Hate Mail".

Majority Report Can Flake Off And Die As Far A I'm Concerned - Hate Mail

Oh, it's not just the secular play-lefties of my generation I was slamming, the likes who hang out at Eschaton and similar blog communities nor was I speaking just of our elders, almost all of whom have died and turned to dust.   I have been utterly disillusioned with many of those who are in middle age, those once bright young things who began  blogs c. 2002 and people who have Youtube channels like The Majority Report, The Young Turks, Ring of Fire.   Even the brightest of them, like Michael Brooks, is obviously incapable of learning anything from even the hardest of experience.  Trump.   I have looked into the backgrounds of a number of them and they are typified as white, usually from an economically comfortable to privileged family background, often having gone to expensive private schools, colleges and universities, exactly the kind of people who are best positioned to weather the Republican-fascists as they hold out for their dream never-will-be-president, Sanders, Nader, or the like.   

Distressingly enough, Michael Brooks doesn't read the results of the enormous 20th century real-life experiments in Marxism which, even if they swept away a bit of feudalism, instituted neo-feudalism that was worse than what it replaced, at times, such as in North Korea, the Soviet Union and China during some of their overt communist periods, Romania, etc.   They are typically super-capitalist dictatorships that enslave and oppress millions, tens of millions, the largest slave state today, with hereditary enslavement, is officially Communist,  starving slaves in their millions, ruled by a fat princeling who is Trump's best buddy, according to our worst president.   Marxism is and always was a delusion of 19th century romantic German theory which was always anti-democratic even as it sought to redefine democracy to make it consistent with violent dictatorship.   In the United States, the only political effectiveness that Marxists have ever enjoyed was the damage it did to the traditional American left, American liberalism which was a development of Christianity.    It still is, the extent to which such latter day Marxists put their faith in the socialism of Bernie Sanders who will never be more than the Senator of Vermont, whose supporters, such as the Young Turks and Majority Report crew are engaged in attacking Elizabeth Warren who could possibly become president due to her lack of ideological purity.   

It's as if it's a game for them, after the Bush II disaster, after the Trump disaster. 

For those guys who straddle the now non-existent fence between "journalism" and entertainment, their primary interest is their careers in infotainment.  Their audiences are mostly the white, the comfortable, the not-all-that-bright (especially as can be read on their comment threads).   They clearly don't mind ratfucking the election from the purity-play-left, no more than the Green Party has done in, now, multiple elections, right up to and including 2016 - the lefty magazines enabling in that enablement even as the choice was between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.   I don't trust Majority Report any more than I trust In These Times or The Nation, these days.  I certainly don't trust any of them who have links to Russia Today and other obvious Putin propaganda outfits.  And a rather disturbing number of them do.  I suspect there has been a seamless transition in foreign as well as domestic relationships between what was the KGB and secular-lefty organizations to match the ones between right-wing organizations and international fascism.  Now that the commies have all made that tiny little baby-step from Marxism to fascism, you have to wonder what the difference ever was. 

A number of years ago, as I was talking to an experienced state legislator who had worked for a union before he went into politics, he said that he realized that as a union steward he could benefit the lives of a few people in his union, as a legislator he could benefit the lives of all workers, unionized or not.  We also discussed the complete difference between making laws that make lives better, the difference between what was possible at any given point and the dreams of idealists, those which might someday become law and reality, those which have no prospect of becoming law anytime soon.  

For a Bernie Sanders who, even in his most deluded moments knows he is never going to be president of the United States,  it's a luxury to promise his adoring fans the moon which is not attainable, while preening in their adulation and idiotically given contributions - and I'd like to know exactly where that money is going in the Sanders campaign as much as I would the Trump campaign, especially if his wife or other family members are getting any of it.   

A candidate who has a realistic chance of winning the election,  Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, etc. who may well have to eat their words in a way Bernie never will face, cannot promise the moon with the stars thrown in as Bernie can.  If it costs them the support of Cenk or Sam or their audience, that's a price that they may have to face, it's not as if the past fifty years has shown the play-left is a reliable base of voters.  They are proven to as probably be spoilers as they will be supporters, they never, ever seem to be bothered by the role they and their like have played in putting and keeping Nixon in office, Reagan,  Bush I, Bush II and now Trump.  

All of that bullshit from the past, all of it, has to be dumped by the real American left, the left that has some chance of winning control of the government and changing laws for the better.   All of those dear dead old commies who Hollywood likes to resurrect to dishonestly present as heroes, the ones still breathing, the next generation who are Bernie bots, etc. all of them are a dead weight on the real left who have a chance of winning elections and changing lives.  There isn't a single good idea that they might have generated that wasn't available in a more practical form which has a chance of becoming law, there isn't any one of them you can really trust - look at how during the Hitler-Stalin pact they were slamming FDR as they turned all Chamber of Commerce c. 1939 on doing business with Hitler.   

I pointed to how ineffective they were in the reality of getting the United States out of Vietnam, how they couldn't mount an effective presidential campaign against Nixon in 1972 after they helped put him in office in 1968.   The legend of the American left as told casts some of the worst of them in an absurdly good light while it demotes those who actually did things to change things.  There is a huge price in treating history as entertainment and entertaining narrative.  Given that we have a series of leaders of countries and states and localities to show us that presenting history and politics as media attractions is extremely dangerous, all of that should be dumped.  The younger, living lefties who feed on that are idiots, their sound and fury signifies nothing except more repetitions of what was done wrong as they build their media careers.  

If AOC, if Ilhan Omar, if the one I think may show the most promise of that group, Ayanna Pressley, are smart, they will try to steer clear of the play-lefties who will inhibit their effectiveness.   They should try to navigate through them without collecting too many barnacles and limpets.  They might stay in the congress with those impediments, they won't do a thing to get anything done.  Nancy Pelosi who steered the House Democrats to two victories, is a far, far better person to learn from than Bernie Sanders who has never much led more than his fan club.  

Note:  The legislation that Nancy Pelosi passed in the House only to have it die in the Senate, even before the racist, billionaire financed, reaction to Barack Obama and Obama's own timidity and emotional need for Republican approval led to the 2010 disaster, would probably have revolutionized the lives of tens of millions and had a ripple effect in such improvement over the entire world.   She has repeated that in less than the year she has been speaker again and if Democrats took the government back next year, the groundwork she has laid could - the Senate not screwing it up again - compete with what FDR and LBJ managed to do.   I'm sure a President Warren would sign all of it, a Biden would probably Obama it up. 

Bernie Sanders mounted an enjoyable but useless day long filibuster.  I'm sure he would have voted for pretty much of what the House sent up but he certainly didn't have the political chops to make things happen, even when he was in the House. 

Nancy Pelosi, having made actual change, is to the left of all of the Madonna of the Future Marxists in American history.   I don't think Henry James knew it, but he painted the political theory of the secular American left, perfectly.