Saturday, November 9, 2019

Yeah, Yeah, Big Deal. What Do You Want Me To Say?

Tell tale Tit,
Your tongue will be slit, 
And every dog in town, 
Will have a little bit. 

On Reading About Steve Bannon's Testimony At The Roger Stone Trial

One of the consequences of witnessing the Soviet Union pass through a brief, very brief, dalliance with democracy to  the resurgence of the (former) Communist crime gang during the disaster of the Yeltsen period which saw the rotted Soviet state break up only to see Russia return to (post) Communist gangster rule under Putin and his chosen lackies and fellow gangsters has been facing up to the enormous damage that was done to the American left by those who were enamored of the gangster-Communist regime as it proved to be the moral equivalent of Nazism and as it duped a huge part of the American left, running their dupes to their benefit and our disastrous discrediting. 

That is continuing in the play left,  The Young Turks, Majority Report, In These Times, The Nation, etc. and idiotically enough in their adoration of  one of Putin's more cynical and disgusting assets,  Julian Assange and the likes of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, etc.  


One thing is clear in this the American play-left is the cheapest and stupidest of prostitutes in that about all you have to do to use them is to make noises that appeal to their. 

a. reflexive (generally snobbish) anti-Americanism, 
b. appeal to their romantic and pathological faith in Marxism, anarchism, and what is tragically called "socialism," 
c. sell the suckers of the play-left a victimization story that appeals to their idiotic romanticism.

The American play-left are idiots who don't seem to be capable of learning anything even with the hardest lessons that history and consequences can provide.  They never, ever, ever learn a fucking thing, they are congenital suckers of the kind their red-diapered parents and their old commie grandparents were, both actual and imaginary ancestry included.   They don't ever even understand the history of communism, anarchism, etc. they are not terribly bright, which is why they never learn anything.   

Another reason they never learn anything is that almost all of them, to a person, are comfortably middle or upper class and the worst consequences of their enabling billionaire gangster rule here is suffered by other people who they really, genuinely don't care about as compared to their idiotic romantic fantasies.  

I will never have to stop writing about this because they are a continual curse on the real left, the left that does learn things and does face reality and never bought into those elitist anti-American ideologies.   If there is one thing we know, it's that a permanent majority of Americans have seen Communism in action and, bad as it can get here, it's never been as bad as under Communism.   That is a permanent fact of American politics which anyone who wants to change things here will have to work from.   The play-left never will.  We have to dump them. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Rhys Adrian - Passing Through

Pat sits behind his newspaper at the same table in the same corner of the same pub every evening. He is a railwayman and functions like a clock. He talks to no one and no one talks to him. Then, one evening, a stranger enters into conversation with him and the pattern is broken forever.

Richard: Hugh Burden
Patrick: Harry Towb
Beth: Diana Bishop
Directed by John Tydeman

Update On The Linux-Single Board Experiment

Thought I'd give an update on my experiment of going Linux based - single board computer.   The bad news - good news is that I've had to buy a whole bunch of micro-usb, micro SD card paraphernalia the good news is that with everything I've had to buy, the singleboard computers, a 7" screen (which I need a Fresnel lens to read) the chords, adapters and connectors, the SD cards (interestingly one of the most expensive parts of it) etc.  the cost is still a fraction of even what an in-good-shape used laptop would cost.  

After trying the always frustrating experience of downloading and unzipping and accessing zipped and a torrent file, I went with the easier route of buying SD cards pre-loaded with NOOBS and Raspbian, the operating systems from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I bought several of those and the cost is a fraction of what it would cost to buy Windows or Mac OS.   I have not started experimenting with using other operating systems,  I'm going to start trying to get one of them loaded with Puppy Linux - very small,  I'm hooping to use the junky looking 2 GB SD card I got sent with the small digital recorder I bought a while back to see if that works.  And just to remind you, the $100 Zoom HIn recorder does more than the old reel to reels that I used fifty-years back. 

One thing, I had ordered a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ for $35 and was fascinated with the idea of using a $5 Pi Zero for word processing and a $10 Pi Zero W as a cheap web-radio so I ordered one of each.  They sent me two of the $5 ones instead of the $10.   When I pointed out their mistake and asked how to send back the extra board, they told me to just keep it for my troubles - I'm loving the Raspberry Pi company, my first experience with a customer friendly computer company.   After that I looked at the specifications of the free computer and realized it had more power and capability than the first PC I bought for a thousand dollars.   When I pointed that out to my sister she said I still had to buy a screen and a keyboard,  which I also had to buy when I bought that dinosaur.  The monochrome monitor I bought then cost more than I've put into this project so far - all three of those boards cost as much as I had to pay to dispose of the thing at the transfer station. 

ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR WORK that's the habit I got out of using computers with large internal discs but which you more or less have to practice with these computers.  Always keep a backup SD card with a clean version of the operating system, too.  The Pi 3 B+ is bootable from a flash drive, so I'm told, that's something I'll be trying.  

You're going to want to buy a USB hub for plugging in multiple USBs -  one with a micro usb to plug it in to the board and either an adapter or another hub with a full size USB if you use one of the larger Pi boards.  The official plug-in Rapsberry Pi keyboard will work as a hub, as well.   

I haven't tried to use a TV as a screen, not owning one.  I may buy one only for use as a monitor, I'm kind of shocked at how cheap those have gotten.  I'll update on that.  

All in all I am very happy with my decision, only thought I'd thought it out so I didn't have to keep going to the American Raspberry Pi Shop to order more stuff.   I could probably find the equivalent locally but I've found dealing with them to be very pleasant as compared to dealing with other online venues.  I don't do terribly sophisticated things on my computer as it is, I think most people don't, so even a cheap laptop is going to have way, way more junk on it than I'll ever use.  For me this has the potential to replace the computers I've bought with small, more environmentally friendly computers which, if they bite the dust, will not have to be disposed of with all of the connections, hardware and other things that have to be junked when your laptop gets fried.  And I'm having to learn things.  I hope that wards off senility.   It beats crosswords and solitaire.  

Update:  Oh, yeah, and about solitaire.  I got flack from what I said about checkers the other day, mocking me for noting that it can be played at a very high level, probably from someone who I could beat the pants off of in the game.  I would like to know how many of the idiots who snark about checkers does the totally brain dead  activity of playing solitaire and why that shouldn't be the real metaphor for a tic-tac-toe level of simple mindedness.  I don't know who it is who comes up with these idiotic metaphors that gain currency among the college-credentialed idiocracy that runs our pop culture but they are really stupid.  

As I said, I stopped playing it on my computer because, while it was fun and stimulating, it took time away from more important and, so, interesting things.  I'd much rather read another chapter of a non-fiction book than play a game of checkers.  I'd much rather go looking for another paper by Paul Finkelman 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Aaron Copland - Concerto for Clarinet String Orchestra, with Harp and Piano

Anthony McGill, Clarinet, 
Soloists of the New York Philharmonic 
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

I don't know of anyone who plays clarinet better than Anthony McGill.  

The Posthumous Power Of PR On College-Credentialed Kulcha Vulchas

Telfer:  And so this new-fangled stuff, and these dandified people, are to push us, and such as us, from our stools!

Mrs. Telfer:  Yes, James, just as some other new fashion will, in course of time, push them from their stools.

Arthur W. Pinero: Trelawny Of The Wells 

Pinero was a real big deal in his time, raise your hands how many of you ever heard of anything of his but, remotely possibly, this play?  

Literary scenes make believe the people they push during their lifetimes are literary gods, only to have them pass from the scene as soon as they're dead or shortly after or while they're still alive.  Vidal drank himself into a really hideous dementia for his last ten years or so, prey to the schemes of Harvard to get hold of his money and stunning even those who stood by him with his snobbish cruelty.  Few if any bothered with his books that last decade, the occasional essay here and there referenced, perhaps.  Other than the essays (which when fact checked turn out to be unreliable) and his blue crap, no one reads him anymore.  The "historical" novels are probably more full of crap than the essays.  He could be cruelly funny but there was never much more to him than that. 

They are such stuff as PR campaigns and book tours are made of.  No one knows who's going to stand the test of time, especially now when post-literacy is the norm for even those with college credentials.

It's kind of funny how slacker kulcha vulchas who are fast on following those ersatz gods to their grave hold onto their rotted and desiccated reputations like monkeys tortured by sadists in the name of pseudo-science  grab onto chicken wire and terry cloth.  

Update:  I never once said anything bad about Joseph Heller.   Life is too short to spend it trying to refute every lie, they just keep telling more.  They even tell the refuted ones.  If I could sue to shut them up I would, but the ACLU and Supreme Court have made that impossible.  Not interested in following it up.  Heller's a good writer but other than Catch-22, how often is he read?  

Molly! thou shouldst be living at this hour:

'merica hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient 'merican dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; . . . 

Dear old Wordsworth. 

I've been trying to cheer myself up watching old videos of Molly Ivins  It works but it makes me wish she'd lived long enough to see the entire United States turn into the Texas Legislature, as interpreted by her.  

Though I think she was way too optimistic about the dangers of a media free to lie and promote depravity, she is sorely missed.   If she found Ivana a bit much to take about thirty years back, imagine what she'd do with her former Donald and her brood.  

On The Latest From Trump's Anonymous Bean Spiller And Bloomberg Filing In Alabama

Pardon me if my first response to the news that the anonymous Trump regime insider who is spilling the beans, first, more than a year ago in a NYT op ed and now in a book that is being given, in excerpts, to media who can be guaranteed to report it is not gratitude and admiration.  The experts say that the writer joined up with the regime in support of its policies, no doubt the billionaire bonanza tax bill and other massive corruption made law, or maybe it was the Trump-Mitch effort to stuff the federal judiciary with fascists and, with some of them overt neo-Nazis, white supremacists, misogynists, LGBT bashers. . . .

Exactly what else would anyone find in the Trump regime to support,to have joined on to it to do?   What act of decency, of democratic ideals, of equal justice have emanated from the Trump regime for this person to have signed on to facilitate and which one were they expecting was going to arise, like a lotus blossom, out of the foetid shit show that is Donald Trump and his cast of gangsters and their thugs?

The Republicans who declared themselves never-Trumpers aren't different in type from the ones like this anonymous insider who is doing who knows what bidding of this retarded, degenerate, sociopath that the Republican establishment accepted and supported and put into the presidency and who keep him there knowing that he has betrayed everything the office of the president is supposed to do and be and all of their own patriotic slogans and claims.   And Trump is hardly the only one.  His innovation, on the heals of the Republican Supreme Court handing him that ability through Citizens United, is to work with foreign billionaire gangsters as the Republican political and legal class has with domestic billionaire gangsters.   That was going on throughout the Bush II, Bush I, Regan and Nixon years.   The difference is that they weren't floridly insane and mentally deficient in the way Trump is. 

I have expressed my disgust with the adulation heaped on James Comey and Robert Muller and the lesser level heaped on the likes of Rod Rosenstein who are all of the same type as this anonymous latter day convert to anti-Trump.  Their problem isn't so much of substance as it is with style and extent.   This is an expression of a style of American conservatism that was rather overtly fascist from the start, it was certainly not an expression of equal justice under law, of government of, by and, least of all, for The People, it was certainly not in favor of the kind of egalitarian democracy that turns out to be the only kind deserving of the name.  They are the servants of money, the servants of wealth, the class that all of them were either born into or wanted a part of or worked toward advancing through.  

I'm especially disgusted with the figures in the media who hold up these people, the apparatchicks of billionaire gangsters as admirable and especially when I hear their Democratic colleagues who have gone to the same schools, had the same experiences with, who have been work or even social buddies with them carrying the same honey from the same honey wagon.  

On the same news I heard about that,  I heard that Michael Bloomberg is apparently thinking of getting in the presidential race, no doubt because he and, reportedly, his fellow NYC based billioniaire gangster pals are afraid Elizabeth Warren could become president.   No doubt he and they would prefer another Trump, or Bush or Reagan or Nixon to make them even more pathologically rich to having someone who would make the banks stop being crooks.  And if that's not enough, Eric Holder is reportedly thinking of doing the same where he would, no doubt, do as much to protect the billionaire gangsters as he did when he was Obama's Attorney General.   

There is more than a touch of the Talleyrand to them, the cynical, hypocritical climber and holder on through the evils of the late French monarchy, the revolution (he sat it out in England) only to come back to join up with the successive post-revolutionary regimes, the one Napoleon aptly described as "shit in a silk stocking".  That's who our elite class in politics and the law and, especially the billionaire gangsters who run them are.  I don't know who I loathe more but I'm finding I have it in me to loathe all of them.   Including those who pose as democrats. 

I'm for Elizabeth Warren, someone who might be elected and who will know her success depends on doing what Democratic voters will vote for her to do.   She's no Obama. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Saving Egalitarian Democracy And The People And World It Serves From Neo-Fascism, Several Points Of View

Sr. Teresa Forcades is a very important thinker and public intellectual of whom I was totally unaware two weeks ago.  Apparently in Europe and among women religious Catholics, she was already well known but old white men are always the last to catch on.   As well as being a Benedictine Sr. she is a fully qualified medical doctor, having studied at the University of Barcelona before finishing her medical training at the University of Buffalo in New York.  Then she obtained a masters degree in theology at Harvard before returning to Barcelona where she obained a doctorate in public health and the her doctorate in theology from the School of Theology of Catalonia.  No slouch. 

And she's clearly taken the time amidst her practice and study  to think about the primary topic of my modest efforts, the possibility and requirements and prerequisites for having a real, egalitarian democracy.  

I've come up with a list of prerequisites for that possibility, sufficient and accurate information being widely distributed to The People and for what is commonly called The Golden Rule to take root in a sufficient number of people, an effective majority in strong enough form for it to be done even in those occasions where it would not be to their personal advantage or, perhaps especially, their personal preferences.  I have stressed the experience which is being had in, perhaps its most blatant and undeniable form in the billionare oligarchs concerted efforts to prevent equality and democracy, the dissemination of lies, through the broadcast media and, in their latest scheme to do that, through the havesting and use of personal data people have been gulled into giving up to Facebook, Youtube and other internet businesses.   Anyone who underestimates their abilities to destroy democracy, depending on such idiotic slogans as "more speech" in the face of this last decade may as well be in it on the side of the billionaires because if "more speech" was going to do it, we would have a golden age of egalitarian democracy instead of resurgent fascism and neo-Nazism throughout the West that bought into that libertarian crap in the post-WWII ear.  

Here is part 1 of a talk Sr. Forscades gave in Ireland, addressing some of the basic issues of egalitarian democracy in 2015, in the context of the economic collapses in Spain, Ireland, Iceland and elsewhere and the "austerity" being imposed, not on the banks which had caused the collapse, but on the least among them.  You will certainly remember how popular that was with the members of the "free press" who felt that kind of bracing facing the consequences that is always so much easier for those who face it vicariously by assigning the consequences to people a lot poorer than themselves.*  

Here is my quick and dirty transcription of some of the main points she made.

. . .  So, the European Union, [is] a democracy. Before in the introduction, that was named.  A democracy meaning three things for me.  We, I think, have a tendency or have had a tendency lately to reduce democracy something that it's only - my, according to my understanding - it's only an essential but not sufficient and necessary but not [a] sufficient element of democracy, that is voting.

I don't understand democracy without voting and voting meaning a moment where each person has the possibility to think and to decide and to do that in secrecy and to do that with all the warranties that will be processed fairly.  That is clear to me,  right?  Without that I don't understand democracy.

But that is not enough.  When the Indignados movement and another so-called Wall-Street Movement, and the people that were taking the street, mostly young people - and the squares and camping there to say that we need a radical change, were saying, at least in Spain, "they do not represent us."  They call it "democracy" and it is not.  Maybe older people, especially in Spain, that we had the dictatorship not so long ago, thought these people, these young people don't know what they are talking about.  We have been in a dictatorship and what we have now is, of course, it's a democracy.  They have partial reason but I don't think they have all the reason.  I think the Indignados had all the reason.  This is not a democracy. We call it democracy and it is not.  It is not the rule of the people, and it . . . Two things, we need two things besides voting to have a democracy.

One thing needs to happen before voting and one thing needs to happen after voting.   And if you don't have this thing before and this thing after, the voting is a farce.  "Farce" this really is right, farce, right?   A mockery, right? 

OK, what is . . . what needs to happen before voting?  Well, it's quite obvious, before voting you need to have a deliberation.  You need to have space where all the different options can be heard.  You need to have a space with plurality and with enough time.  [It] cannot be from today to tomorrow and then voting.  That's what happened in the Congress in the United States when they had to vote the bail-out of the banks, they had 24 hours and a document of 600 pages.  And this unfortunately happens at other levels of our so-called democracy.   This cannot be handled like that this deliberate,  deliberative moment, it's essential for democracy.  I actually think it's the most important of all three, all of them are important but this one is the one that shows of our democracy, when you come together with other people you listen to other perspectives, you open up to other perspectives, not only your interests and you just ponder the thing critically then you get to think about it, to discuss, to confront, to oppose and this builds up what we call a human community.  And this builds up a sense of common purpose and builds up a common purpose.  I don't mean unique, right, plural, differentiated with all different kinds of accents and diversity but we are working and building something that it cannot be assumed is there.  That's democracy, democracy, it's good that we have to build together and the deliberative process is very important.   If, for example, I'm . . .  somebody tells me, "well we have a vaccine that is 100% effective, 100% sure, do you want that vaccine?   Then I am supposed to exert, to exercise my sovereign of saying "yes" or "no".   What am I going to say,  "yesm give it [to] me twice"  If I just take the information as it comes, so it's obvious that that's very important.

But there is another one.  Even if you have the deliberative process as it should be and you have the voting without manipulation, as it should be, that's still to my understanding not democracy because we need something to happen after the voting.  And that is revocatory?   Is that English word?  "Revocatory"?  [Audience response]  What?  Recall?  Recall is to recall.   So that means that you have thought out and discussed with everybody and, perfect.  You have voted in privacy and freedom.  But maybe you've made a mistake?  And you realize a bit later.  So, do you have to wait four years to just be able . . . or five or six, depending?   Who's to say what is it written in Spain the president that we have now in Catalonia but also in the country, they came to the election with a program,  they were saying  they would do all [of the] following things.  They were voted [in] and the next day they started undoing all that they said they would do.  And most people say,  oh, yeah, that's what they do today, in Spain.  Right, the people answered like this.  Again this is something that points directly to the problem that the Indignados were pointing to.  This cannot be allowed.  How can we just assume this is the way it works?   You just promised some things to get elected, and when you get elected you don't do them.   You might be thinking, some of you, wait a minute, we have the motion of censure,  is that English?  Like in Parliament, right.  But that's the problem, that's also what the Indignados were showing.  We cannot have only representative democracy because [in] representative democracy you can have a motion of censure in the Parliament but in the Parliament you are getting there through political parties through campaigns that are being financed by the same big powers that are vested interests, that have invested interest.  In Spain all the main political parties [do].  I don't know, in Ireland.  In Spain all the big political parties have huge debts to the banks. . .

Under our flawed and corrupt Constitution, as interpreted by recent Supreme Courts, the deliberative prerequisite of democracy is corrupted through the mass media and the manipulation of information by billionaire gangsters and their hirelings and the post-election recall, the quaint notion of "impeachment" which has never been fulfilled for the removal of even the most criminal of elected kings-for-four-years, is clearly insufficient for the purpose.  

Anyone who thinks rescuing  egalitarian democracy from the billionaire oligarch gangsters is going to be done by tweaking our institutions and laws is deluded.  It is going to take some very basic and earth shaking change.  It is going to have to include honesty and good will in strong enough form that it becomes effective in an effective majority who will often have to act for the common good and with justice when they don't want to, when they would not choose to in the absence of a stronger force that impels them to act against their own "enligthened" self-interest.   I have lost any of my naive faith that that could be based on feelings and notions and habits, I think it requires that that majority really believe and feel that they are required to by no one less than their Creator, to put it in Jeffersonian language.  He clearly either never had or lost that feeling as he became more sciency in his thinking, his entire life depended on the enslavement of scores and hundreds of people who he didn't treat as he would have had them treat him.  None of the slaveowning founders nor the Supreme Court "Justice" slaveowners are reliable in that regard.  All of their words and deeds need to be understood with the enormity of that fact foremost in the deliberations. 

*  British social theory is traditionally based in that, as, Phil, that admirable commentator on British politics has discovered, they're talking about killing the poor there, again and blaming their deaths by cruel Tory incompetence and criminality on their victims.   

I will, again, point to Marilynne Robinson's great essay, Mother Country as one fo the best studies of the cold blooded violence of traditional British, English, for the most part, economic and social theory in this regard.  The college-credentialed and scribbling and babbling classes in American have been highly influenced by them, the secular "left" as well as the overtly fascist right.  You can also read her wonderful essay on the topic of austerity, it goes with Sr. Forscades talk, very well.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I'm sick.  I hope to post tomorrow.  The friggin' time change isn't helping either.  I hate Daylight Savings Time.  I never found the chickens and goats, the cabbages and tomatoes cared what time it was.  Seems like a dumb idea they thought up in some comfy room as a boon to the farmers without thinking to ask them.  

“What is the problem with feminism in our Church?” by Sister Teresa Forcades

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Thinking About Sr. Forscades' Insight

The idea of Sr.Teresa Forscades that unlike "modernity," which she defines as the dominant intellectual framing that first started towards hegemony in the renaissance, Christianity had sanctity as the goal of human beings instead of ever higher forms of human reasoning, has stuck in my mind since I first read about it at Mary Bridget Meehan's blog.   Especially this sentence, "Modernity began with the exclusion of women,"  who, she notes, were, for the largest part of the modern period, even up to the 20th century and to an extent, today are excluded from a university education.  Though women have made great strides in entering many fields, notably not so successful in those most emblematic of such modernism, the STEM departments, they are not the only group of people for whom who modernism has not been such a great deal.  

What interested me most is that under the Christian assumption that Sr. Forscades* the great issue that leads to the elite and sciency to deny that people are equal on the basis of biological difference, disappears, for the most part.  If you measure equality from the standard of holiness instead of in intellectual (actually material**) success, then it is far less problematic to hold that all people are created equal by God.  That erases the basis of political inequality as held by such men (almost always it's affluent, white, men) who are held in such esteem even as they despised People of Color, Women, other nationalities, etc.  I will admit that those things existed and exist within the churches - Sisters Forscades and Chittister were speaking at the Women's Ordination Conference, after all - but if you start by holding sanctity as the goal of life instead of material or intellectual position then you're a lot more likely to abandon that evil.  The egalitarianism that is inherent to that framing, like the ideal of any framing, is still more of a potential than it is a reality.  But that is far more true for a framing that holds intellectual and, especially, material attainment as the most worthy goal because no matter what you do by way of schooling, those things are not going to be equally distributed among people. 

I have said a number of times that one of the turning points of my life was, while thinking about Henry Kissinger - I seem to recall it was in the context of his post-government career selling guns in Africa, I realized there were hundreds, thousands, . . . of smart people the world would probably be better off without, there are no good people I could say that about.  

Trying to find the ideals of egalitarian democracy in materialism and in intellectual manipulations on behalf of that is guaranteed to fail.  It will always work the other way.  

*  Who has had what would conventionally be seen as a top-rate education,  Harvard for the love of Mike!   I think she is unusually unimpressed with her credentials.  The more I read about her and hear her (her English is extremely good) the more impressed I am. 

** The extent to which the Ivy and Might As Well be Ivys have proven to be intellectual brothels, and how the far from intellectually endowed rich and famous have used them erases the distinction between the two.  Oxford and Cambridge and other elite universities and the jr. levels of those, the elite preps (Catholic no less than any others) display a similar blending of the intellectual and the material.

I haven't thought it out very far but I wonder if that has something to do with the deep suspicion that St. Francis had about educational distinction and discouraged its elevation in the early years of his order.  His radical sanctity, based not in material possessions but in poverty and service to the least among us was something that the powerful members of the hierarchy moved, even during his lifetime, to destroy.   It is something that in the next generation led to the interesting fact that the great philosopher William of Ockham had to take it on the lam because as a devotee of the strict observance Franciscans, he was on the outs with the rich and famous in the degenerate papal court of John XXII.   It's a long, long time since I have read any of him but I seem to recall that a lot of Ockham's political ideas, formulated in defense of the original Rule of Francis, anticipate a good deal of democratic political theory.   The basis of that was in defense of refusal to own property as part of Franciscan sanctity.   I seem to recall part of that was an early form of the separation of church and state, but it also contained a limit of the rights of earthly power to rule.   Maybe I'll get around to reviewing that.