Saturday, November 2, 2019

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Garry Lyons - Distant Whispers

1971: A 14 year old boy is raped and murdered. Young DC Christine Proctor works on the unsolved case, which destroys the career of Detective Superintendent Doug Crowley.

2001: A 14 year old boy is abducted but managers to escape. A man is arrested and it transpires that he was a key suspect in the 1971 case.

Detective Superintendent Christine Proctor sees an opportunity to charge the man for the 1971 murder, and calls on Doug Crowley, now 82 and dying from cancer for help.

But inadvertently, Christine brings to the fore a secret that has lain hidden for decades.

Christine: Denise Black Doug: Paul Copley Harmeet: Emil Marwa Timothy: Matthew Beard Ronald: Duggie Brown Audio analyst: Kate Williamson Directed by Nadia Molinari

On All Souls Day

My Dreams, My Works, 
Must Wait Till After Hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep my eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.

Gwendolyn Brooks


I inadvertently inflated my checkers competence yesterday,  I'm more a mid to high-mid-level player, if I'm rusty a mid level player.   And I'm rusty.  

Don't want to sound like a braggart. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Checks And Balances Is An Illusion At This Point

It's a minor pet peeve of mine but as someone who, a while back, became addicted to playing checkers with a very good computer checkers program and who progressed to what would be considered a mid-high level player, when I hear someone imply that it's a simple minded game - always people who I suspect ignorantly hold chess in the awe its PR encourages people to believe about it - it irritates me.  Checkers is far from a simple minded game played at the highest levels and it is, I think, a far better analogy to what is involved with politics than chess.  

I removed the checkers game from my computer.  It was too addictive, took up too much time and it taught me everything I needed to get from it. 

I have given up trying to guess what Nancy Pelosi and those closest to her are planning in terms of the impeachment of Donald Trump, they're way ahead of me and I wasn't one of the idiots who was whining and crying for the past two years when she, sensibly, was keeping her powder dry and under cold storage.  I think she knows that unless the polls make Republicans in the Senate terrified for their majority and their own electability and, so, vote to remove Trump, putting the about as compromised Pence in his place, the impeachment is not going to end with Trump being removed.  

The soft edges of that, as personified in the putrid, stinking scumbag Susan Collins, only one of the recent title holders, The Shame of Maine, will hold firm.  My sister had on Maine TV when I went to see her last night and the Republican fascists are already putting out lying campaign style ads to gull the very gullible in Maine to put the slag back in for another term.  But she's definitely feeling the heat for her voting for the billionaire tax giveaway on the empty promises of Moscow Mitch and Trump, Putin's bitch #1 and her vote to put the sexually assaulting perjurer, Kvanaugh on the Supreme Court.  But if the skank thought she could get that by voting to remove Trump, she'd throw him under the bus as fast as he will anyone else.  She's thrown her constiuents under it to block a farther right-wing primary opponent, even though there was little reason to do that and to get whatever else she figures she can from it.   She's not different in type from Trump, just where she is on the board. 

American politics isn't chess, the pieces aren't that varied, their moves are not that different, it all depends on forcing them to move to do what you want them to do.  It's even true of the Supreme Court.  Roberts must know that if he does anything to show his partisan hand in this, he will blow the one thing the Court depends on, the unthinking piety that has been cultivated for that brothel in the media, in popular entertainment - where it substitutes for a religious hierarchy- and more generally.   It's always been a sham, they're as political and self-interested as the Republicans in the Senate and the House and Trump.  If he and Mitch Putin's Bitch work together to thwart the removal of Trump too blatantly, he will have discredited the court.  I'm not sure I would hold that as a bad thing if people stopped being dupes for that totally non-democratic branch of the government.  I think saving egalitarian democracy will, actually, require that the powers of the court and lots of its past precedent be discredited and overthrown.  Much of the worst of it has come about as a direct consequence of them creating a privilege to lie, falsely called "free speech" they extended it through, first making money speech, then giving corporations a privilege to lie to maximize profits and the power of their servants (when you read "corporations" in this context, you could as well say "crime gangs") and then further opening up American elections to the influence of billionaires domestic and even foreign through further "free speech" rulings.  

Our 18th century Constitution, if it can't get rid of someone as blatantly, as floridly, as self-revealed a criminal as Trump, then it and many of the assumptions we had about it has failed, catastrophically, absolutely, entirely and dangerously.  If Trump is not removed, especially if he is reinstalled as he was BY THE FUCKING, GODDAMNED CONSTITUTION THROUGH THE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL COLLEGE,  retaining faith in the Constitution is a lazy, immoral act of rolling over for fascism.   

I've Been Called Out On A Family Issue - Here's An Interesting Piece From 95 Years Ago By Karel Capek

Why I am not a Communist
(December 2, 1924 in the Pritomnost (Presence) magazine)

This question appeared out of the blue among a group of people who were normally inclined to do anything else rather than to busy themselves with politics. It is certain that nobody among the present would raise the question "why I am not an Agrarian", or "why I am not a Social Democrat". To be no Agrarian, by itself, signifies no definite view or life belief; however, to be no communist means to be a non-communist; to be no communist is not a simple negation but rather a certain credo.

For me personally the question brings relief, since I have been under great need, not to start polemics with Communism, but rather to defend myself in my own eyes for not being a communist and why I cannot be one. It would be easier for me if I were one. I would live thinking that I contribute in a most intrepid way to the redemption of the world; I would think that I stand on the side of the poor against the rich, on the side of those in hunger against bags of money; I would know what to think about this and that, what to hate, what to ignore. Instead, I am like a naked man in a thorny bush: with my hands bare, not covered by any doctrine, feeling my impotence with respect to helping the world and often not knowing how to protect my conscience: If my heart is on the side of the poor, why the heck am I not a communist?
Because I am on the side of the poor.


I have seen poverty so painful and undescribable that it has made bitter to me everything I am. Wherever I have ever been I ran from palaces and museums to see the life of the poor, in the humiliating role of a helpless spectator. It is not enough to see and it is not enough to sympathize; I should live their life, but I am afraid of death. This biting, inhuman poverty is not borne on the heraldry of any party; as for these terrible slums with neither a nail to hang oneself nor a dirty rag to lay on, communism tries to reach them with its cry from a careful distance: the social order is to blame; in two years, in twenty years, the flag of the Revolution will unfold, and then --

What, in two years, in twenty years? Are you capable to admit so indifferently that one should live like that even two more winter months, two more weeks, two more days? Bourgeoisie that cannot or does not want to help here is a stranger to me; but equally strange to me is Communism that, instead of help, brings the flag of the Revolution. The final word of Communism is to rule, not to save; its gigantic slogan is power [moc], not help [pomoc]. As Communism sees them, poverty, hunger, unemployment are not unbearable pain and shame but rather a welcome reservoir of dark powers, fermenting by lots of anger and resistance. "The social order is to blame." No, rather all of us are to blame, whether we stand over human poverty with hands in our pockets or the flags of the Revolution in our hands.
Poor people are no class, they are precisely the declassed, excluded and unorganized ones; they will never dwell on the steps to the throne, whoever sits on it. The hungry ones do not want to rule but to eat; with regard to poverty it is indifferent who rules; the only thing that matters is how we, human beings, feel. Poverty is neither institution nor a class, it is a disaster; looking for an appeal to immediate humane help, I find only the cold doctrine of class rule. I cannot be a communist because its morality is not the morality of help. Because it preaches abolition of the social order [rad] and not abolition of the social crime [zlorad] that is poverty. Because if it wants to help the poor at all, it does so conditionally: first we have to rule and then (perhaps) it will be your turn. Unfortunately, not even this conditional salvation is guaranteed by the writ.


Poor people are not a mass. A thousand workers can help one worker in his struggle for existence; but a thousand poor people cannot help one poor to get even a piece of bread. A poor, hungry, helpless person is absolutely isolated. His life is a history for itself, incompatible with others; it is an individual case because it is a disaster, though it is similar to other cases like a rag to a rag. Turn the society whichever side up, the poor will fall to the bottom again, most often joined by others. I am not a scratch of an aristocrat but I do not believe in the value of masses. After all, nobody, I hope, maintains seriously that masses will rule; they are just a material instrument to attain certain goals; they are simply political material in a much harder and more ruthless sense than the party-members of other colors are. It is necessary to press people into a kind of shape so that they become a mass material; it is necessary to give them a uniform made out of certain cloth or certain ideas; unfortunately, one can seldom take the uniform made of ideas off after eighteen months. I would begin to respect communism deeply if it came to the worker and told him honestly: "There´s something I ask of you but I do not promise you anything; I ask that you be an item, a unit, a material for me, just as you are an item and material in the factory; you will obey and remain silent, just as you obey and remain silent in the factory. As a reward, you will one day, when everything changes, remain what you are; you will fare worse or better, whether this or the other I cannot guarantee; the order of the world will be neither more generous nor kinder to you, but it will be juster." - I think that most workers would quite hesitate to accept this offer - and yet it would be supremely honest, and who knows whether for highly moral reasons it might not be more acceptable than all offers presented so far.
To feed poor people with promises is to rob them. Perhaps life is easier for them when you paint fat geese on the willow for them; but in practical respets, today just like one hundred years ago the sparrow in one´s fist is better than a pigeon on the roof of the government building and a fire in one´s oven is better than the red cock on the rafters of palaces which are, moreover, much less numerous here than what would think a person who is being forced to accept class consciousness instead of one´s own eyes - since, apart from a few exceptions, we are, as to life standards, a not very well-off nation, a fact one usually fails to mention. Usually one says that the poor have nothing to risk; but on the contrary, whatever happens the poor are those who risk the most because if they lose something they lose the last bit of bread; with the poor´s bread one should not experiment. No revolution will be realized on the backs of a small number of people, on the contrary - it will be on the backs of the highest number of people; whether it is war or currency crisis or anything else it is the poor who bear the earliest and heaviest consequences; quite simply, there are no limits and no bottom to poverty. The most rotten thing in the world is not the roof of the rich but the roof of the poor; shake the world and then look and see who it is that has remained in the rubble.
So what is to be done? As for me, I do not take much consolation in the word "evolution"; I think that poverty is the only thing in the world that does not evolve but rather just grows chaotically. But it is not acceptable to postpone the issue of the poor until the establishment of some future order; if they are to be helped at all, one has to start right away. It is open to doubt, however, whether the world of today still possesses sufficient moral means for that task; communism says it does not; well, it is just this refusal in which we differ. I do not mean to say that there are enough perfectly just people in this social Sodoma; but in each of us Sodomites there is a bit of the just and I believe that after some sustained effort and some substantial waving of hands we could agree on quite decent justice. Communism says, however, that an agreement is excluded; apparently it doubts the human value of most people as such, but of that thing I will treat later. The present-day society did not tumble down when it brought about some or other protection of the unemployed, aged and sick; I am not saying that it is enough but the important thing for both the poor and me is that that much has been possible to do today, on the spot, without irritated waiting for the glorious moment when the flag of the Revolution will unfold.
To believe that the issue of the poor is the task of the present and not of the upcoming order means, however, to be no communist. To believe that a piece of bread and fire in the oven today is more important than Revolution in twenty years is the sign of a very non-communist temper.


The strangest and least human element of communism is its weird gloominess. The worse the better; if a biker hits a deaf granny it is a proof of the rottenness of the present order; if a worker sticks his finger in between the wheels of the machine, it is not the wheels that will mash his poor finger but rather the bourgeois, and will do so with bloodthirsty pleasure. Hearts of all people who for some or other personal reasons are no communists are beastly and repulsive like an ulcer; there is not one smittereen of good in the entire present order; whatever is is bad.
In a ballad of his, [the communist poet] Jiri Wolker says: "In your deepest heart, you poor, I can see hatred." It is a horrible word but the curious thing is that it is completely improper. At the bottom of poor people´s hearts there is rather an amazing and beautiful gaiety. The worker by the machine will crack a joke with much more enjoyment than the factory-owner or the director; construction workers at the site have more fun than the building-master or the landlord, and if there is a person singing in a household then it is definitely more often the maid wiping the floor than her mistress. The so-called proletarian is naturally inclined to an almost joyful and infantile conception of life; the communist pessimism and melancholy hatred are artificially pumped into him, and through unclean pipes. This import of desperate gloom is called "the education of masses towards revolutionarism" or "strengthening of class consciousness". The poor, having so little, are being bereft even of their primitive joy of life; that is the first payment for a future, better world.
The climate of communism is ghastly and inhuman; there is no middle temperature between the freezing bourgeoisie and the revolutionary fire; there is nothing to which a proletarian could dedicate himself with pleasure and undisturbed. The world contains no lunch or dinner; it is either the mouldy bread of the poor or the gorging of the overlords. There is no love, for there is either the perversity of the rich or the proletarian conceiving of children. The bourgeois inhales his own rottenness, the worker his consumption; thus, somehow, the air has disappeared. I do not know whether journalists and writers have persuaded themselves to believe this absurd image of the world or whether they consciously lie; I only know that a naive and inexperienced person, such as the proletarian usually is, lives in a terribly distorted world which really is not worth anything else for him than to be undone and uprooted. But since such a world is just a fiction, it would be very timely to undo and uproot this ghostly fiction, for instance by some revolutionary deed; in that case, I am enthusiastically supportive. There is no doubt that in our tearful valley there is far too much undescribable disaster, excess of suffering, not quite enough well-being and very little joy; as far as I am concerned, I do not think I am inclined to depict the world in too rosy colors but whenever I come across the inhuman negativity and tragic of communism I feel like shouting in an appalled protest that it is not true and that in spite of everything it does not look like this. I have met very few people who would not deserve a crumble of salvation for an onion; very few of those onto whom the Lord, being just a little sober and generous, could spit fire and sulphur. The world contains much more narrow-mindedness than real vice; but there is still sympathy and trust, friendliness and goodwill enough so that one cannot break the stick over the world of humans. I do not believe in perfection of either present or future humankind; the world will become a paradise neither by persuasion nor by revolution, not even by annihilation of the human race. But if we could somehow gather all the good that is, after all, hidden in each of us sinful human beings, then, I believe, one could build on this a world kinder yet than the one so far. Maybe you will say that it is just a simpleton´s philanthropy; well yes, I do belong to those idiots who love human beings because they are human.
It is very easy to say that, for instance, the forest is black; but no tree in that forest is black, rather it is red and green, because it is simply a pine or a fir. It is very easy to say that the society is bad; but go and find some essentially evil people there. Try to judge the world for a moment without brutal generalizations; after a while, there won´t be a grain left of your principles. One premise of communism is an artificial or intended ignorance of the world. If someone says they hate Germans I would like to tell them to go and live among them; in a month´s time I would ask them whether they hate their German landlady, whether they feel like cutting the throat of their Germanic radish-seller or strangling the Teutonic granny who sells them their matches. One of the least moral gifts of human mind is the gift of generalization; instead of summarizing our experiences, it simply strives to supplant them. In communist papers you cannot read anything else about the world but that it is worth nothing through and through; anyone for whom opinionatedness does not represent the peak of knowledge won´t think this quite sufficient.
Hatred, ignorance, essential distrust - this is the psychical world of communism; a medical diagnosis would say that it is pathological negativism. If one becomes a mass, one is perhaps more easily accessible to this infection; but in private life, it is not sufficient. Stand for a moment next to a beggar at the corner of the street; try to notice who are the pedestrians that most likely spin out the penny from their pockets; in seven cases out of ten they are people who live themselves on the border of poverty; the remaining three cases are women. In all probability, a communist would deduce out of this fact that the bourgeois has a hardened heart; but I deduce something more beautiful, namely that the proletarian has usually a soft heart and is substantially inclined to kindness, love, and dedication. Communism with its class hatred and resentment wants to make this person a canaille; the poor does not deserve such a humiliation.


The world of today does not need hatred but rather good will, readiness to help, consensus and co-operation; it needs a kinder moral climate; I think that with a bit of simple love and sincerity one could perform wonders. I defend the present world not because it is the world of the rich but because it is also the world of the poor and then also of those in the middle, of those who nowadays, ground between the mill-stones of capital and class proletariat, maintain and save, with more or less success, the largest part of human values. I do not really know those proverbial upper ten thousand, thus I cannot judge them; but I have judged the class which is called bourgeoisie in such a way that it has brought me the indiction of dirty pessimism. I say it so that it gives me more right to defend, to a degree, those to whose failures and crimes I am certainly not blind. Proletariat cannot substitute this class but it can enter it. Despite all programmatic swindles there is no proletarian culture; nowadays there is on the whole no folk culture either, no aristocratic culture, no religious culture; all that is left of cultural values depends on the middle class, the so-called "intelligentsia". If only proletariat claimed its share in this tradition, if only it said: Okay, I will take over the present world and manage it with all the values that are in it - then perhaps we could shake hands and give it a try; however, if communism pushes forth by immediately refusing, as useless camp, everything that is called the bourgeois culture, then goodbye and farewell; then everyone with a bit of responsibility starts to take into account how much would go wasted.


I have already said that real poverty is no institution but a disaster. You can reverse all orders but you will not prevent human beings from strokes of bad luck, from sickness, from the suffering of hunger and cold, from the need of a helpful hand. Do whatever you like, disaster presents human beings with a moral, not a social task. The language of communism is hard; it does not talk of the values of sympathy, willingness, help and human solidarity; it says with self-confidence that it is not sentimental. But this lack of sentimentality is the worst thing for me, since I am just as sentimental as any maid, as any fool, as any decent person is; only rogues and demagogues are not sentimental. Apart from sentimental reasons you will not hand a glass of water to your neighbor; rational motives will not even bring you to help and raise a person who has slipped.


Then, there is the issue of violence. I am no spinster to make the sign of the cross whenever I hear the word "violence"; I admit that sometimes I would quite enjoy beating up a person who produces a series of wrong reasons or lies; unfortunately it is impossible because either I am too weak to beat them or they are too weak to defend themselves. As you can see, I am not exactly a bully; but if the bourgeoisie started to shout that they go hang the proletarians then I would certainly get up and run to help those who are being hanged. A decent person cannot side with the one who threatens; whoever calls for shooting and hanging disrupts human society not by social revolution but by offending natural and simple honesty.
People call me a "relativist" due to the singular and apparently rather heavy intellectual crime that I try to understand everything; I spend my time with all doctrines and all literatures including negro tales and I discover with a mystical joy that with a bit of patience and simplicity one can reach some agreement with all people, whatever their skin or faith. It seems there is some common human logic and a reservoire of shared human values, such as love, humour, enjoying good food, optimism and many other things without which one cannot live. And then I am sometimes gripped by horror that I cannot reach agreement with communism. I understand its ideals but I cannot understand its method. Sometimes I feel as if I spoke a strange language and its thought was subjected to different laws. If one nation believes that people should tolerate each other and another nation believes that people should eat each other, then this difference is quite pictoresque but not absolutely essential; but if communism believes that to hang and shoot people is, under certain circumstances, no more of a serious matter than to kill cockroaches, it is something that I cannot understand though I am being told it in Czech; I have a terrible feeling of chaos and a real anxiety that this way we will never agree.
I believe till this very day that there are certain moral and rational chuttels by means of which one human being recognizes another. The method of communism is a broadly established attempt at international miscommunication; it is an attempt to shatter the human world to pieces that do not belong to each other and have nothing to say to each other. Whatever is good for one side cannot and must not be good for the other side; as if people on both sides were not physiologically and morally identical. Send the most orthodox communist to handle me; if he does not knock me down on the spot then I hope I will reach personal agreement with him on many things - as long, however, as these do not concern communism. But communism principially disagrees with the others even in points that do not concern communism; talk with communism about the function of the spleen and it will tell you that this is bourgeois science; similarly there is bourgeois poetry, bourgeois romanticism, bourgeois humanism and so on. The firmness of conviction that you find in communists in every detail is almost superhuman: not that the conviction were that exalting, rather that they do not get fed up by it at the end. Or perhaps it is no firmness of conviction but rather some ritual prescription or, after all, a craft.
But what I especially regret are exactly proletarians who are thus cut off from the rest of the educated world without getting any other substitute than the attractive prospects of the pleasures of the Revolution. Communism shuts down a cordon between them and the world; and it is you, communist intellectuals, who stand with colorfully painted shields between them and all that is ready for them as the share for newcomers. But there is still a place for the doves of peace - if not in your midst then above your heads, or directly from above.


I feel lighter after having said at least so much, though it is not all; I feel like after having confessed. I do not stand in any herd and my argument with communism is not an argument of principles but rather of personal conscience. And if I could argue with others´ conscience and not with principles I believe it would not be impossible at least to understand each other - and that, by itself, would be a lot.

translated and provided by: Martin Pokorny

I am indebetted to Martin Pokorny for the translation, this is an amazingly insightful document that, if I'd read it fifty years ago, would have saved me a lot of the time I wasted reading and listening to Marxists, who, in the United States, have drawn the American left into a worse than futile cul-de-sac and which, in the online play-lefty Youtube-Patreon-Podcast version of that, is bringing the delusion into another generation of enabling Republican-fascists.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ken Cuccinelli The Piece Of Garbage Who Tried To Deport Children Who Would Die As A Result Is A Graduate Of An Elite Jesuit School

This fine speciemen of gangster sadist is a product of another of the DC area elite Jesuit preps,  Gonzaga College High School, one of the oldest such prep schools in the country.  They apparently are proud enough of him that he appears an a couple of lists of their eminent products that I saw online. 

Gonzaga is named for St. Aloysius Gonzaga, an aristocrat who was inspired to join the Jesuits.   His aristocratic family, apart from, or so I read, his mother, were dead set against him joining the Jesuits who, in the late 16th century were hardly the aristocratic elite they have become associated with through running schools like the one named for him.  He would have had to renounce the fortune he was due to inherit, as the oldest son in his family, and would be cut off from the kind of power that a secular priest who, as a member of a rich and prominent late renaissance family, would have risen in the hierarchy and become even richer and more powerful in the corruption that was the Italian renaissance.  

As it was, he became a Jesuit.    

AND THE REASON I'M GOING INTO HIS BIOGRAPHY IN RELATION TO KEN CUCCINELLI TRYING TO GAIN FAVOR WITH THE REPUBLICAN FASCIST TRUMP REGIME,  St. Aloysius Gonzaga went to work in the squalor of the hospitals, caring for people with terrible and contagious diseases.  A lot of Jesuits and other members of religious orders who cared for the sick caught what they had and a lot of them died terrible deaths.  He disobeyed orders that he leave the hospital - not a light thing for a Jesuit to do, back then - and eventually he died of an illness he caught from one of the people he was caring for.   

And, today, this amoral, scumbag who is a graduate of an elite Catholic prep school named for him, is currying favor and power and advancement by deporting children who he knows will die if they are not kept in the richest country on Earth - some of them coming here for the purpose of developing treatments for the rare conditions and diseases they have. 

In another irony, the details of Aloysius Gonazga's career towards sainthood has made many consider him the patron saint of those who care for AIDS patients, Cuccinelli has built his career largely on him using his power to attack LGBTQ people.   I would look into his public pronouncements to see how the scumbag used the AIDS issue but I don't have the time to just now.

Gonzaga College High School should revoke it's credentials they gave, starting Ken Cuccinelli on his career as a fascist sadist in service to Republican fascism.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I Want A Full Investigation of the Murdoch Family For Ties To Putin Oligarcy Mobsters

I remember a while back someone sent me a comment assuring me that FOX would turn around as soon as Lachlan got control from his Aussie-Brit smut-king daddy.   He assured me he knew that because he'd worked for Lachlan.  Well, wrong as usual.  Lachlan is a smut-king's sonny boy, like Trump is a real estate gangsters son.  I remember Susan Sarandon assuring us he'd be better than Hillary.    Hollywood makes everyone stupid, eventually.

American democracy can't survive the Murdoch style of 24-7 lying and slandering.  We can laugh about their audience but their audience defeated Obama in 2010 and put Trump in the White House.   

I Might As Well Make The Last Stupid Mail Post As Controversial As Possible

Having a few minutes to consider the question as to whether or not I am going to be saddled with Kanye West's proclaimed Christianity - to which I'll say, the little I looked into it, it's anti-Christianity, Mammonism pretending to be Christianity - I did the same thing my detractors do, I went to Wikipedia to find out who is to blame for him.   I wouldn't suggest depending on the Wikipedia article which I have ever confidence is a creation of some hack in Kayne West's employ, it's definitely a load of boss-aggrandizing bull shit.  

Why would anyone who has read anything I wrote think I'd have anything in common with this mentally ill egomanical asshole?   I have an especially strong hatred for that kind of pop crap, too.

I also read this article from the Daily Beast, and this one.  From what I know of the asshole and his proclaimed religiosity, it is right. 

From what I can see from his upbringing, he looks like the faculty brat from hell grown into a monster.   I saw a few faculty brats in my day but a lot of them outgrew it.   He turned it from a temporary condition of immaturity into a full blown pathology.  I can't deny that I think his mother, the English prof. dying as a complication from entirely elective and very ill considered cosmetic surgery is both pathetic and oddly resonant with her son's epic egomania and the self-hatred that he obviously shares with Clarence Thomas [from what I have read of CT's bio, I blame his grandfather for spoiling him].   I wonder if the image industry will eventually consume West, too.  

His profession of Christianity, like William Barr's, like Tim Busch's like Ross Douchebag's, like . . . all servants of Mammon,  is a sham.     That he follows the prince of liars, the servant of Mammon Donald Trump is all that anyone needs to know about the impossibility of his Christianity being authentic.  Jesus, himself, disqualified someone like him from being his follower.

Not going to bother with this bull shit any more. 

Oh, may as well add:

Image result for 4 mop heads

Hate Mail

I read a bit.  I find it is not only far more efficacious in expanding the mind than travel is reputed to be, it also is far cheaper and more convenient.  And you can do it every day.   I've known lots and lots of ignorant, bigoted yahoos (so many of them living in major metropolis) who are always going on about where they've gone on vacation.   

And I like it. Reading.

You act as if I should be ashamed of having read a few articles and papers.  Is it a brazen act of rebellion against convention in online America c. 2019 to try to find things out?

Well, I don't feel ashamed.  This isn't high school where the kew-el kids can try to make the kids who read and do their homework feel ashamed for being counter-cultural.  And it's so hilarious to see people entering into their senectitude trying to be kew-el.  It reminds me of when my young nieces saw Mick and his old stones perform at the Superbowl and howled with laughter about the funny old men trying to look like kids in their 20s.   They thought the game was stupid but their old granddad (on the other side) was trying to get them interested in it.  Didn't take, they are indifferent to it.  But they thought the old man rockers were hilarious. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What was the difference between Hamilton and Ariel Castro who did the same thing? Good Question You Could Ask Of Any Of The Founding Slavers

Lacking time to write a piece of my own,  here

Ishmael Reed is a great figure in contemporary letters and thought and politics, so great that he rejects being turned into a figure of conventional repute, such as he noted about one of my favorite poets of the 20th century Gwendolyn Brooks.  The passage is so good I'll give you the first paragraph of his excellent article on the role that the NYC corporate media, especially the stinking old gray drab, the New York Times played in the promotion of "Hamilton".

Among the types of black writers are the “Negro Whisperers,” whose assignment is to explain blacks to whites like the guide in the Tarzan movies, who, in the words of Adolph Reed, Jr. tells them what those drums mean. Then there’s the native who challenges the lies that come down from the colonial office. The native that is regarded by the occupiers as “dangerous.” John A. Williams, whose memorial service will be held in Teaneck, New Jersey, on May 29, didn’t have as many readers as the “Negro Whisperers” but he was so dangerous as to be placed on the FBI list of black writers to be placed in “custodial detention,” * in case of a National Emergency. (They spelled my name, “Ismael.”) He was part of a tradition of black writers dating back to the 1800s, and though these writers could be as hard on blacks as whites, this entire tradition is being dismissed by the new post race “Negro Whisperers,” as one of scorn and of “hating whitey.” Williams, and Amiri Baraka would have a field day with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton.” So would Gwendolyn Brooks, who could have attended all of the occupier’s dinner parties, but chose to remain in the forest with her people. (Baraka is now so beloved by The New York Times, which hated him while he was alive, that they recommended his book of poetry for a Christmas gift.)

The NYT loves its controversial minority figures safely dead and their work repackaged by a major publisher, one suspects with ties to people at the NYT.  You probably wouldn't lose your stake if you bet on any artist of color whose work they praise, live, is probably producing the kind of stuff Reed talks about with such derision.

Mr. Reed continued:

There would be no demand for tickets had it not been for an extraordinary bit of salesmanship from The New York Times, which had been rooting for “Hamilton” since 2012, culminating in a rave review from Ben Brantley published when it opened in August, 2015. He wrote
“I am loath to tell people to mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets to a hit Broadway show. But ‘Hamilton,’ directed by Thomas Kail and starring Mr. Miranda, might just about be worth it — at least to anyone who wants proof that the American musical is not only surviving but also evolving in ways that should allow it to thrive and transmogrify in years to come.”
I challenged the enthusiasm for a show that glorifies a man who participated in holding people against their will in my article written for CounterPunch, August 21, 2015. What was the difference between Hamilton and Ariel Castro who did the same thing, I asked. Should Castro’s face be on the ten-dollar bill? Hamilton’s defenders maintain that Hamilton was smart. So was Castro who was able to accomplish his despicable deed without being detected. In my article I quoted historians who were not as swept away by Founding Fathers chic, or Hamilton fever as much as Chernow, Miranda and writers for The New York Times. Professor Michelle Duross, of the University at Albany, State University of New York, is much more direct  and shows what happens when someone from a class, whose voice has been neglected, invades the all-white male country club of historians. Unlike Chernow, her treatment of Hamilton as a slave trader is not couched in equivocating qualifiers that are favorable to this founding father, I wrote. She takes to task the Hamilton biographies written by his awe-struck groupies:
“Alexander Hamilton’s biographers praise Hamilton for being an abolitionist, but they have overstated Hamilton’s stance on slavery.
“Historian John C. Miller insisted, ‘He [Hamilton] advocated one of the most daring invasions of property rights that was ever made– the abolition of Negro slavery.’ “Biographer Forrest McDonald maintained, ‘Hamilton was an abolitionist, and on that subject he never wavered.’”
She writes, “Hamilton’s position on slavery is more complex than his biographers’ suggest.” Some historians maintain that Hamilton’s birth on the island of Nevis and his subsequent upbringing in St. Croix instilled in him a hatred for the brutalities of slavery. Historian James Oliver Horton suggests that Hamilton’s childhood surrounded by the slave system of the West Indies “would shape Alexander’s attitudes about race and slavery for the rest of his life.’”
She writes,
“No existing documents of Hamilton’s support this claim. Hamilton never mentioned anything in his correspondence about the horrors of plantation slavery in the West Indies.
“Hamilton’s involvement in the selling of slaves suggests that his position against slavery was not absolute. Besides marrying into a slaveholding family, Hamilton conducted transactions for the purchase and transfer of slaves on behalf of his in-laws and as part of his assignment in the Continental Army.”

While I'm tempted to give a musical critique of the music - I just don't have time.  It is shit in the way of the worst of Broadway style shit.  I wonder which numbers have been pulled from it to be endlessly belted in the pop diva market.  You should read the articles and the things he cites in it. 

Note:  I didn't give the link to Michelle Duross's article.  Here it is

Stupid Mail

I'm getting tired of trying to refute the lies of Steve Simels, aka "Simps" aka "Stupy"  his claim that I have something in common with William Barr on the power of an op ed by Ross Douchbag in his home town rag, the source of so much NYT-wittery, is something that no one who told the truth about what I've said could say without intentionally lying.  Stupid as he is, I know Steve Simels is not only an habitual liar, his lying is obsessive, continual and constant.   Which is all the proof anyone needs to see he's got everything in common with William Barr, Donald Trump and, oh take your pick of the liars that are rampant today.  

The ever diminishing rump of Eschatots, those who remained at Duncan Black's blog after the adults fled en masse who believe him a. never fact check b. never read.  They don't matter, they couldn't organize a pissing match after asparagus, coffee and beer.  They have the substance of a Giuliani butt dial without the topical interest. 

I think I'll take the rest of the year off with the hate and, especially, the stupid mail.  Perhaps I'll complete the resolution I made to not post what he says by totally ignoring it in the coming year.  Advent starts December 1, maybe I'll start it November 1.  Or today. 

Technical Difficulties

Damned HTML is screwed up again and I'll have to find my book to try to figure out how to fix it.  Please excuse the repeated paragraphs, I tried to fix it but can't figure it out with what I know.

More On Madison Et Al

I neglected to include a link to Paul Finkelman's excellent paper James Madison and the Bill of Rights:  A Reluctant Paternity so am giving one now.  It contains a lot of information that overturns the common received bullshit about a number of the most famous of the founders as egalitarian democrats, especially Madison and Hamilton - currently there is no one more distorted in the popular imagination than Hamilton due to that idiotic dance and rap piece of crap that was so heavily promoted by that other piece of crap, the New York Times and the money interests of the NYC area. 

It is especially interesting in the section in which historians addressing Madison et al's hostility to the adoption of a bill of rights try to give practical reasons of lack of time and complexity.   Finkelman notes that it was as late, even later in the process of consideration that

The first proposal for civil liberties protections came before the Convention on August 20, when Charles Pinckney suggested libertarian additions to the Constitution. This was late in the Convention but certainly not too late for action. The contrast with the Fugitive Slave Clause, which was for Black Americans the antithesis of a bill of rights, is revealing. Charles Pinckney and Pierce Butler introduced this clause on August 28. The Convention adopted it the next day, after almost no debate, even though Americans had virtually no prior experience with the interstate rendition of fugitive slaves. The delegates, then, were clearly capable of swiftly and decisively expanding the Constitution even at the end of the Convention. 

 The lack of time argument is especially unpersuasive in Madison’s case. On September 14, three days before final adjournment, Madison proposed giving Congress two new substantive powers: to grant charters of incorporation and to create a national university. That day Madison also supported a change in the wording of the Article I to discourage standing armies. Clearly Madison was willing to make changes late in the Convention, but a bill of rights was not on his agenda.

The common received wisdom that James Madison was burning with the desire to include a Bill of Rights in the Constitution is bull shit.  The ahistorical piety of the kind that for even those with college credentials replaces pious hagiographic lies for history based in a careful and complete inclusion of the most complete possible primary evidence and - in one of the most valuable parts of the modern historian's art and science, critical analyses of the virtues and hypocrisies of the figures in history. 

I will call your attention to Professor Hinkelman's text in which he noted that for a huge portion of the American population, Madison and the rest of the founders adopted and installed in the body of the Constitution proper, an antithesis of a bill of rights.  That is so righteously beautiful a telling of truth, it takes my breath away.

You can read in his paper how Madison was very reluctantly forced into supporting a Bill of Rights be adopted by the Congress, ironically enough in today's common received wisdom, because he a. faced the necessity of being elected to offices, the Virginia ratifying Convention, first and then for political office, for which he needed, b. the endorsement of two influential Baptist ministers who were skeptical of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights and so he had to be dragged against his will into the role that central casting has put him in as the Father of the Bill of Rights.  Add into that the fact that Massachusetts was insisting on such a Bill of Rights.  Remember this the next time you're reading the generally estimable Charles Pierce when he waxes silly over "Jemmy Madison."*   I have pointed out before that Madison's cameo image is the emblem of the American Federalist fascists with good reason.   You can read his contempt for the hoi polloi in regard to their insistence on a Bill of Rights, how the Founders, largely, if not to a man, held people without propery, without a formal education in contempt, how they were largely and entirely bent on empowering the aristocracy they planned on setting up after not needing all of that 18th century romance about the Creator endowing people with unalienable right on an equal basis.   I would refer you to exactly the ease with which they cemented slavery into the foul document.

I am becoming ever more interested in the history of those who opposed the Constitution and what remains of what they said.  I think, given the disaster and danger that the Constitution has allowed us to fall into and which it is so hard to remove, the long history of corrupt presidents, courts and congresses, it's probably a good time to consider that those who both as it was being adopted and after who addressed the horrors and injustices that were allowable under the thing might have known what they were talking about and that we've been gulled into just accepting that because the CON-STI-TU-TION** is treated as secular sacred writ.  

We got Trump, we still have Trump, for all we know now, Trump might get in again.  And if the hoi polloi that Madison and his allies so despised are to blame for being deceived, it is because of the idiotic way in which those casually considered words of the Bill or Rights, largely drafted by men on record as believing they were superfluous or dangerous, are to blame for that.

Note:  I have to wonder if a good part of Madison's and the other Fedederalists' reluctance to call attention to rights in such an explicit way was due in no small part to them systematically denying rights to those they exploited as property as bad and much worse than the European peasants and serfs were treated by the feudal powers that they held themselves to be better than.  It's certainly article number one in the case for the their sainthood being impeached.  That's been known since the late 18th century even before the Revolution though the way university historians have written it for most of the intervening years, that has been entirely disappeared.  It is largely the writings of those who escaped slavery, the abolitionists and others who have told the truth about that.   

The founders weren't gods, they weren't saints, they weren't even, by and large democrats.  They were certainly not guilty of committing equal justice before the law.  A world ruled by white men, even in the expansion of the franchise that, as well, came well after the Constitution, scholars and universities largely either consisting of such privileged white men or knowing they were answerable to the power structures that consisted of them might have found it possible and desirable to pretend they were.  But that's over.  At least for people who reject anything but equality and democratic rule by people of good will.   It is absurd that we live under the superstition that we are bound by their words, today. 

You can read in his paper how Madison was very reluctantly forced into supporting a Bill of Rights be adopted by the Congress, ironically enough in today's common received wisdom, because he a. faced the necessity of being elected to offices, the Virginia ratifying Convention, first and then for political office, for which he needed, b. the endorsement of two influential Baptist ministers who were skeptical of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights and so he had to be dragged against his will into the role that central casting has put him in as the Father of the Bill of Rights.  Add into that the fact that Massachusetts was insisting on such a Bill of Rights.  Remember this the next time you're reading the generally estimable Charles Pierce when he waxes silly over "Jemmy Madison."*   I have pointed out before that Madison's cameo image is the emblem of the American Federalist fascists with good reason.   You can read his contempt for the hoi polloi in regard to their insistence on a Bill of Rights, how the Founders, largely, if not to a man, held people without propery, without a formal education in contempt, how they were largely and entirely bent on empowering the aristocracy they planned on setting up after not needing all of that 18th century romance about the Creator endowing people with unalienable right on an equal basis.   I would refer you to exactly the ease with which they cemented slavery into the foul document.

I am becoming ever more interested in the history of those who opposed the Constitution and what remains of what they said.  I think, given the disaster and danger that the Constitution has allowed us to fall into and which it is so hard to remove, the long history of corrupt presidents, courts and congresses, it's probably a good time to consider that those who both as it was being adopted and after who addressed the horrors and injustices that were allowable under the thing might have known what they were talking about and that we've been gulled into just accepting that because the CON-STI-TU-TION** is treated as secular sacred writ.  

We got Trump, we still have Trump, for all we know now, Trump might get in again.  And if the hoi polloi that Madison and his allies so despised are to blame for being deceived, it is because of the idiotic way in which those casually considered words of the Bill or Rights, largely drafted by men on record as believing they were superfluous or dangerous, are to blame for that.

*  It is largely on "The First Amendment" and its usefulness for the scribbling profession and publishing industry - the "press" that the slave-owning aristocrat Madison is deified, today.   This passage from the paper also jumped out at me. When he reported to Edmund Randolph the growing opposition to the Constitution over “the ommission of the provisions contended for the favor of the Press, & Juries &c.,” Madison again failed to comment on the validity of the argument or to propose a strategy for combating it. 

**  I recently went back to look at Barbara Jordan's famous speech made as part of the Nixon impeachment and noted that her expressed faith in the CON-STI-TU-TION! was conditional on it being interpreted as she understood it in the early 1970s, which were the high mark of the effort to make out of that mess an egalitarian document.  That is what the entire subsequent history of the Supreme Court, the Republican fascists, the Federalist fascists, much of popular culture have been tearing down ever since then.   I wish Barbara Jordan and some of the others who said such things at that time were around to ask questions about this today.  I can't believe she would have expressed such total faith in the document given the history of the last forty-five years.

Monday, October 28, 2019

I Guess This Is How A Straight Guy Says "Please" or How We Know Duncan's Not In The Club*

That's Our Guy

I've done too many versions of this post, but every time I spend much time actually watching Trump, I just can't fathom that anyone actually sees him as some sort of appealing Alpha Male action movie hero. I get Owning The Libs. I get loving all the racism. I get he's a rich guy. I get he's an old guy with a hot young wife (not interested in arguing Melania's attractiveness, let's just say she symbolizes a type of it at the very least). I knew guys in college who idolized Rush Limbaugh at the time and I even sorta got that, but largely because Rush Limbaugh is like 10 X the "man's man" Donald Trump is and trust me that isn't because I think highly of Rush Limbaugh in this regard, either. 

This is his afternoon post, or so I'm told. At 136 words, including title, it's goes into the file of his long form works.  

Rush Limbaugh?  A "man's man"?  An obese pill soaked cabana boy hound who sits in a plush chair bellowing into a mic for a living?   I guess that's what a white collar guy's idea of a "man's man" is.  I know accountants who are trade**  compared to these fat drugged up rich guys.   And I mean accountants who look and act like accountants.  Heck, Fred Rogers was more butch than those guys.  

*  I haven't heard anyone say that in more than thirty years and the last time I heard it his boyfriend said, "No one says that anymore. "   Just thought I'd use it one last time. 

** Come to think,  I don't know if people say that anymore, either.

How We Got Here

[George] Mason had other objections to the Constitution.  He disliked the commerce power, the treaty-making provisions, the continuation of the African slave trade for at least twenty years, and the power of the president to grant pardons especially "to those whom he had secretly instigated to commit" crimes and "thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt."  These complaints about the Constitution were magnified by the lack of a Bill of Rights.  Mason feared that the Senate and the President would combine "to accomplish what usurpations they pleased upon the rights and liberties of the people,"  while the federal judiciary would absorb and destroy the judiciaries of the several states."

Paul Finkelman:  James Madison and the Bill of Rights:  A Reluctant Paternity

George Mason was certainly right about much of the above, what else are we seeing but a criminal president who is shielding himself and preventing the exposure of his crimes in cahoots with the most anti-democratic parts of the government, the Senate and the Supreme Court and all in good Constitutional order.  He was wrong if he thought that merely adding a Bill of Rights, especially the "freedom of the press" was going to effectively end the dangers that he, correctly and with great foresight saw in the Constitution.   I think it would have been impossible for him to understand the power of modern mass media to corrupt The People, to make them stupid and superstitious about politics and government.  He might have been able to imagine the decades long smear campaign against Hillary Clinton but he certainly didn't think that a Supreme Court would give an effective grant of that power to smear and lie with impunity using his beloved concept of total press freedom - perhaps he, as I have, naively believed that no one was so deranged as to believe there was a right to lie so absolute that even someone as lied about as Hillary Clinton would be blocked by the Bill of Rights from clearing her name.

Paul Finkelman has become one of my favorite historians of the United States, I have read and re-read many of his articles and find he is both thorough and penetrating in his analysis of the primary documentation.  I am sure he would disagree with some of what I have concluded about the deeply flawed Constitution but not so much on the deeply flawed men who wrote it and adopted it.  

That quote from Einstein, found in the article I linked to about Xavier Zabrini's philosophy has lodged in my mind because I think it gets to the bottom of what is wrong with so much of our attempts to deal with the unprecedented disaster that the Trump crime spree has been.  "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them".

But what else have we been doing but trying to solve the serial disasters that the Constitution has brought us in the past twenty years with the same thinking that got us here?  What got us here is the ability of the media, the "press" to elevate Donald Trump, a real-estate gangster and thuggish goon to become president of the United States and the very Constitution as interpreted by federalist fascists has kept him there and which could reimpose him on us - never forget he got in, as Bush II did on the power of the Electoral College, losing the popular vote. 
George W. Bush imposed against the very act of counting all of the votes by the Supreme Court in one of the most outrageous acts of judicial politicing in our history.   He was maintained there by the acquiescence to that outrageous act by the loftiest organs of the media,  The New York Times, the Washington Post, the broadcast networks and all three of the cabloids (MSNBC not having cultivated it's "liberal" image so as to effectively compete against the others) and, lest it be forgotten,  National Public Radio and PBS.  

Donald Trump is a 100% creation of the "free press" a geek show huckster and snake oil fraud and con-man whose entire persona is a construct of what the "free press" did with the raw material of the Dudley Dursley style soul rotted by his vile parents.  He's only one of a number of those, the Republican caucus in the Congress is full to the brim with them.  

It is one of the things that has impressed me with how the billionaire oligarchs have done this, through the "free press" through social media, and I know they did it with the hired help of lawyers, media professionals, public relation professionals, etc. who have absolutely no qualms about working to destroy democracy as long as they get paid a enough to do it and who probably wouldn't be bothered much about democracy disappearing.  You can have a rather pleasant life under even the worst dictators for a while, if you have no morals or conscience.   

They are certainly doing what the civil liberties soaked supporters of the Constitution are not doing, learning the lessons of their mistakes and successes.   The next time they will do it even better than they have now, and they've played the civil liberties champions and devotees of absolute free speech for total and complete suckers as they remain stuck in the very same thinking that got us here, to start with.  They have to, it's right there in the Bill of Rights as interpreted by the Supreme Court in line with the role that we allowed them to assert for themselves, the right to be the final word on what we must do, whether by 5-4 decision or by whatever majority on that court says.  

That failure to learn from history, to learn from even our own serially imposed experience of the disasters we have endured for the past twenty and fifty and two-hundred years is going to destroy egalitarian democracy and with it any meaningful right to free speech and free press. I can think of nothing that more effectively refutes the regard that our elites hold themselves and their modern, science informed rationalism than the spectacle of the United States devolving into a crime gang governed oligarchy.   Trump has, obviously, given away any claim the United States has to world leadership to Vladimir Putin and the gangster crime family that rules Saudi Arabia and whatever other gang of criminals who can dangle a real estate deal in front of his piggish face.    That Trump is certainly the stupidest person to have ever been president, Taft was an intellectual titan, by comparison, is absolute proof of how we got here.

We, the People, entertained to death by The Apprentice and other ersatz "realities" presented on TV, made stupid and ignorant and decadently stupid by entertainment media have been led here by clever people playing on our strongest weaknesses, our conceit, our love of pleasure, our appetites, our greed, our suspicion of the least among us, of "others" and, not least of all the same regional resentments and interests that plagued the founding of this country.   And that, my fellow countrymen, was done through the free press - as the movies, TV and the internet are so deemed to be - the strongest force in the forming of character in the modern world.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Old Joke

I put in that bit about Esperanto to push Stupy's buttons, too.  It's guaranteed to happen.  But also to make the point I did about the need of an easily learned, so possibly democratic lingua franca, something we don't have and which no unplanned language can be.

It's hilarious that someone who speaks only English and can't manage to think in that one is mocking someone for having another language.  

A person who speaks three languages is a polyglot.  A person who speaks two languages is bi-lingual.  A person who speaks one language is an American, as the old joke goes. 

And Stupy doesn't think in even one.   Esperanto is a language that a person of normal intelligence can learn to speak in a few months of fairly modest effort with greater fluency than they're likely to achieve in years of study with a "natural" language.  But that's someone of normal intelligence.  Stupy is definitely sub-normal.  Maybe I'll really annoy him and post daily lessons. 

Update:  Oh, what Stupy said wasn't meaningful, it was a repetition of a common-received snark which is meaningless, the kind of thing that you read and hear from mid-to-low brows who want to make a show of being in what they mistake as "the know".  But it's as meaningless as what's likely to come out of the mouth of some of the dimmer Republicans in congress.All they show is that they're college-credentialed later day Babbitts.   Interesting fact, George Soros' father Teodoro, was an eminent Esperantist.  He adopted the name "Soros" which means "will soar."   I believe he wrote Maskerado ĉirkaŭ la morto the account of how he kept his family from being murdered by the Nazis in E-o. 

It's a shame that I can't quote the late Claude Piron, a man who worked a number of years as a live interpreter at the UN, and so knew what he was talking about better than easily 99 44/100th percent of those who snark about Esperanto.  He wrote an excellent study of the potential of Esperanto,  La Bona Lingvo - I especially liked the section where he talked about how people are allowed to come up with on the fly neologism giving examples he'd collected over several decades.  You're allowed to invent any neologism with any word root that works, it's remarkably effective.  I read that and his excellent Le défi des langues - Du gâchis au bon sens. in which he went into the pathology of those who had an emotional problem with the idea of Esperanto.  It was originally in French - his native language - and concentrated heavily on the phenomenon among the French but most of what he said is applicable to English speaking idiots like Stupy.  He is famous for being able to write entire books in Esperanto with a limited vocabulary, some of them on quite complex topics.  It's one of the reasons I can confidently say that using E-o as a universal language to translate even complex texts would work.  

Hate Mail - If You Can't Take Me Knocking Those Gods Of the Cult Of The Constitution Off Their Plinths You're In The Wrong Place

Oh, I first heard about the alcoholism of the friggin' founders when I read a (possibly apocryphal) anecdote referring to Benjamin Franklin talking too freely during the Continental Congress.   I came to the firm belief in it through reading a large number of the letters of Thomas Jefferson and came to the conclusion that a lot of them were probably written when he was very drunk.  The quality of them is so drastically different that he had to have been on something when he wrote a lot of them.   One thing I looked at a while back said that Franklin, though perhaps a heavy drinker by today's standards, was one of the less habitually drunk of the deified founders.

I've not yet looked hard for that kind of kind of retrospective examination of the evidence of how much of our Constitution that we treat like divine revelation  . . . no, that's not true, the Supreme Court treats it far more reverently and uncritically and without regard for subsequent history and experience and knowledge than anyone treats the Bible*- . . . anyway, no one I know of has tried to figure out how many of the friggin' founders were drunk when they wrote and adopted it.  Late 18th century people drank enormous amounts of alcohol, I'd guess a number of them would be classified as alcoholics by later, more scientifically informed times.  Which is an irony of our absurd "originalism" and the absurd cult of the 18th century gods made of those guys. 

* No doubt the members of the Supreme Court would never want anyone to take the extremely radical economic justice passages of The Law, The Prophets, The Gospel and The Epistles seriously.   Even those who are less the whores of the oligarchs have that kind of thinking drummed out of them at the Ivy League law schools where they instruct the servants of the wealthy, training them to aspire to become members of the oligarchy, those who aren't already. 


Note:  It occurs to me while writing this that the people who have sniped at me about wanting to return to some point in the past are, almost to a person, enamored of some period of the past, many of them exactly that period as they imagine it - in the case of the "originalist" soothsayers, for exactly those provisions that were put in it by wealthy, drunkard, white men to keep them in power so better to exploit the labor of others.

I will note that, though he might have the occasional drink, as compared to the founders, Abraham Lincoln, who did more to correct some of the worst features of the original Constitution than any other president, said he didn't care for drinking because it made him feel "flabby and undone".   His address to a temperance society in 1842 is interesting because it showed a more modern conception of the pandemic alcoholism and still is that was rampant.  And still is. Especially this passage - complete with an ethnic stereotype of the period.

If, then, what I have been saying be true, is it wonderful, that some should think and act now as all thought and acted twenty years ago? And is it just to assail, contemn, or despise them, for doing so? The universal sense of mankind, on any subject, is an argument, or at least an influence not easily overcome. The success of the argument in favor of the existence of an over-ruling Providence, mainly depends upon that sense; and men ought not, in justice, to be denounced for yielding to it, in any case, or giving it up slowly, especially, where they are backed by interest, fixed habits, or burning appetites.

Another error, as it seems to me, into which the old reformers fell, was, the position that all habitual drunkards were utterly incorrigible, and therefore, must be turned adrift, and damned without remedy, in order that the grace of temperance might abound to the temperate then, and to all mankind some hundred years thereafter. There is in this something so repugnant to humanity, so uncharitable, so cold-blooded and feelingless, that it never did, nor ever can enlist the enthusiasm of a popular cause. We could not love the man who taught it -- we could not hear him with patience. The heart could not throw open its portals to it. The generous man could not adopt it. It could not mix with his blood. It looked so fiendishly selfish, so like throwing fathers and brothers overboard, to lighten the boat for our security -- that the noble minded shrank from the manifest meanness of the thing.

And besides this, the benefits of a reformation to be effected by such a system, were too remote in point of time, to warmly engage many in its behalf. Few can be induced to labor exclusively for posterity; and none will do it enthusiastically. Posterity has done nothing for us; and theorize on it as we may, practically we shall do very little for it, unless we are made to think, we are, at the same time, doing something for ourselves. What an ignorance of human nature does it exhibit, to ask or expect a whole community to rise up and labor for the temporal happiness of others after themselves shall be consigned to the dust, a majority of which community take no pains whatever to secure their own eternal welfare, at a no greater distant day? Great distance, in either time or space, has wonderful power to lull and render quiescent the human mind. Pleasures to be enjoyed, or pains to be endured, after we shall be dead and gone, are but little regarded, even in our own cases, and much less in the cases of others. 

Still, in addition to this, there is something so ludicrous in promises of good, or threats of evil, a great way off, as to render the whole subject with which they are connected, easily turned into ridicule. "Better lay down that spade you are stealing, Paddy; --if you don't you'll pay for it at the day of judgment." "Be the powers, if ye'll credit me so long, I'll take another, jist." 

By the Washingtonians, this system of consigning the habitual drunkard to hopeless ruin, is repudiated. They adopt a more enlarged philanthropy. They go for present as well as future good. They labor for all now living, as well as all hereafter to live. They teach hope to all -- despair to none. As applying to their cause, they deny the doctrine of unpardonable sin. As in Christianity it is taught, so in this they teach, that

"While the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return."
And, what is a matter of more profound gratulation, they, by experiment upon experiment, and example upon example, prove the maxim to be no less true in the one case than in the other. On every hand we behold those, who but yesterday, were the chief of sinners, now the chief apostles of the cause. Drunken devils are cast out by ones, by sevens, and by legions; and their unfortunate victims, like the poor possessed, who was redeemed from his long and lonely wanderings in the tombs, are publishing to the ends of the earth, how great things have been done for them. To these new champions, and this new system of tactics, our late success is mainly owing; and to them we must mainly look for the final consummation. The ball is now rolling gloriously on, and none are so able as they to increase its speed, and its bulk -- to add to its momentum, and its magnitude. Even though unlearned in letters, for this task, none are so well educated. To fit them for this work, they have been taught in the true school. They have been in that gulf, from which they would teach others the means of escape. They have passed that prison wall, which others have long declared impassable; and who that has not shall dare to weigh opinions with them, as to the mode of passing.

I'm not sure that we know how to treat alcoholism and other addictions,  Conditions that have killed two members of my family in my generation and which is certainly one of the major health and safety problems and social emergencies.   And as a book I recommended earlier this year,  Firewater:  How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) by Harold R. Johnson notes, the medical model which came out of that kind of 19th century progress over the disastrous 18th century one, isn't a notable success.   The medical model, especially as a branch of the pseudo-sciences of psychology and psychiatry, is less successful than Alcoholics Anonymous, which when it works, it works, but it doesn't work nearly enough. 

I do have to add that whenever I read Lincoln's persuasive writing, the man had a deeper and firmer notion of human habits of thought than any allegedly scientific modeling of the same.   I have to add,  I think Nancy Pelosi has similar and deep understanding of the way peoples' minds work and how to lead  people.   I trust her judgement far better than almost any other of today's politicians.   I trust it a lot more than I trust the 18th century aristocratic slaveholders, oligarchs and drunks we're supposed to treat as eternal gods.