Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Sean O'Gorman - Christie

The play took 1st place in the 2019 PJ O’Connor, Radio Drama Awards

Marie & Joey  are from the Liberties area of Dublin They really are a match made in heaven but the challenges they face in trying to become a family, with baby on the way,  in a modern day Dublin are most definitely sometimes 'hellish'.   However this plucky pair carries on regardless on and one can’t help but root for themListeners are advised that the play contains very strong language from the start

This is Christie by Sean O’Gorman took 1st place in the 2019 PJ O’Connor, Radio Drama Awards 

Roxanna Nic Liam played the part of Marie  

Lloyd Cooney was Joey

Jimmy Smallhorne played Da 

Hilda Fay was Ma

Stephen Jones was the council official

Sound design & sound supervision  was by Damian Chennells

Christie by Sean O’Gorman was directed by Gorretti Slavin

This is another week when I haven't had time to listen to radio drama so I'm hearing this for the first time after posting it.  I hope I'm glad that I did. 

Stupid Mail In A Time Of Plague

Yeah, Simps is making it up AS YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU READ MY MORNING POST!  He's a pathological liar though he's not the stupidest member of the Duncan Black "Brain Trust" (they really do call themselves one, and I'm not making that up).  Considering the general brow-height at Duncan's that's not saying much for his intelligence.  He might have been more if he'd had his TV viewing restricted and been compelled to read more but he wasn't and as he's approximately the same age as Trump, that ain't gonna happen now.  

Stupider than him?  The Bernie Bots of Eschaton and beyond.  I might list all of them on the play-left in 2020 and issue a list of them as the stupidest of the stupid who should be barred from ever having membership in the Democratic Party.  Though the Bernie Bot blog flies at Eschaton wouldn't make it on, due to their insignificance. 

I'm in a particularly bad mood after talking to a relative who works for one of the larger towns around here.   He told me the absolutely grim news he's getting from our state government, if you want to hear some grim stuff that's about to come your way and you live in a state not afflicted with a Republican governor, that's where you'll get the worst news.   If they're republican, you've got pretty much a 95% chance of getting lies. 

It is going to be horrible for at least the next six weeks, you can pretty much count on knowing people who are going to die due to the Trump regime's criminal activity and inactivity.  

That put me in a really, really bad frame of mind overnight so I'm suspending all my good resolutions.   When I told him I didn't drink, my old piano teacher said it was a mistake, that you needed a source of comfort in your old age.  I'll indulge in that other Irish vice, brawling, instead.  

Sins Of My Old Age - If Someone Has To Drown In Their Own Lungs From Trumpian Criminal Irresponsibility, I Wish It Would Be Grover Nordquist

It is and has always been a fact of modern American life that huge numbers of Americans pay little to no attention to news, spending their limited hours of life on entertainment.  And even a lot of people who do watch or listen to some news spend a lot more of their time on entertainment media.  I will leave out reading because the act of reading the news is nonexistent for a majority of Americans, certainly since the Reagan era when policy changes were made that crushed many local dailies and weeklies.   

Entertainment is often discounted for the effect it has on the minds of those people who watch it, as if the very media that got them to buy things and take up habits in their own lives wouldn't have any influence on whether they vote and who they vote for, what political orientation to adopt.   But since it forms most of the minds of most people who spend more time with entertainment than real life, it probably accounts for why things have gone so badly to hell.


The importance of entertainment in forming the thinking, the minds of those who binge on it for most of their waking hours, even for many of them as they are allegedly working or in school, is proved by the so-called news programming on the cabloids and networks adopting many of the conventions and formats of entertainment, that was something that grew steadily worse as, under the regimes of the liberal-libertarianism of the civil liberties industry and cult and hard-right libertarianism of Republican-fascism, the mass media were deregulated.  

I thought about that as I listened to Rachel Maddow's A. segment discourse on the history of Trump's and Republican governors'  criminal negligence and outright criminal insanity in the Covid-19 epidemic, noting that it is motivated from a similar ideological attitude which cause the Bush II disaster of criminal negligence and insanity after Hurricane Karina drowned New Orleans.  

I suddenly had a fondest wish that the partner of Newt Gingrich and other Republican-fascists,  Grover Nordquist would get Covid-19 and find himself struggling to breathe and chosen as one of those who were not going to be put on a ventilator.  I suddenly wanted him to find himself a consequence of his fondest dream to drown the federal government in a bathtub after starving it of the resources needed to address a national catastrophe.   I felt a huge desire to have those who put him on TV and radio talk shows to spread the poison of Republican-libertarianism which is the putrid, vulgar materialist substitute for morality that was pushed by the media, which the media found so brisk and entertaining for the past forty years, having clever people who could come up with entertainingly cynical lines about the federal government.  

Any shame I had in feeling that way disappeared quickly.  I have every confidence that many if not most of the Republicans in office, right now, were influenced by what Nordquist said, he was and is one of the most influential right-wing peddlers of exactly how they've acted in this crisis.  He was hugely influential in the Gingrich and Bush years and I would bet that most of the people in power, now, elected and appointed nodded and smirked in agreement with what he or his imitators said then.  I don't feel ashamed of wishing Nordquist to have time between gasps as he drowned in his own body fluids to consider how that was a direct consequence of the things that made him wealthy and powerful in the Republican-fascist establishment. 

But that kind of thing has been common in both entertainment and the bleed through into alleged journalism for a long, long time.  The same early-morning ruminations over Nordquist made me think of the George Kaufman Moss Hart comedy,  You Can't Take It With You and the vaguely clever patter in which charming old Grandpa Vanderhof talks down an IRS agent who has come to talk about his refusal to pay his income tax.  Which, I will remind you, those who could afford a theater ticket were chuckling about in 1936, as the Great Depression was still strong and as it was increasingly clear that the United States was going to have to face the Nazis and Imperial Japan in war.   But singling it out isn't because Kaufman and Hart were the only ones doing it*,  whining about having to pay taxes by wealthy asses in show biz was as common as dirt by that time.   So was their whining that the government couldn't do things.  Noting the discrepancy between demanding that government do things when you need them to and complaining about government doing too much is also as common as trash on Americas' crumbling highways and roads. 

*  I have read that George Kaufman was considered to be the more cynical of several of his collaborators, the one who wrote the most cynical lines.   Even the crypto-fascist Morrie Ryskind was reportedly less cynical.  

Friday, April 3, 2020

This is too consistent an effect for it to be accidental

I am overwhelmed at how consistently the Republican-fascists here, the Conservatives in Britain, etc. seem to have a gift for finding ever more cruelly, stupidly, sadistic responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

This is too consistent an effect for it to be accidental,  if it's not malicious, it's homicidal by intent.  It is habitual and reveals the basic nature of the ideology they share.  

After this there can be no question about the morality of the Anglo-American conservatives, they are all of the negative attributions made to them, everything from their being crooks and grifter to indifferent to the suffereing of others, especially the powerless and cynically and intentionally cruel.

It's like Republicans here are in a competition to see who can be the most evil and they're all winning it. 

. . . the full number of human beings - including those who have suffered, wept and shed their blood in the past - will share in it. Not a human kingdom . . .

Part 1

Part 2

In belief in God, however, as he showed himself in Jesus of Nazareth, I must start out from the fact that there can be a true consummation and a true happiness of humanity only when not merely the last generation but the full number of human beings - including those who have suffered, wept and shed their blood in the past - will share in it.  Not a human kingdom, but only God's kingdom is the kingdom of consummation:  the kingdom of definitive salvation, of fulfilled justice, of perfect freedom,of unequivocal truth, of universal peace, of infinite love, of overflowing joy - in a word, of eternal life. 

Eternal life means liberation without any new enslavement.  My sufering, the suffering of man, is abolished, the death of death has occurred. It will be the time (in Heine's words) to sing "a new song, a better song."  History will then have attained its goal, man's becoming man will be completed.  Then as Marx hoped, the state and the law, and also science, art and particularly theology will really have become superfluous.  This will be what Bloch meant by "genuine transcendence,"  Marcuses's really "other dimension,"  the true "alternative life"'

No longer will "thou shalt," will morality rule, but "thou art," being.

No longer will a relation established at a distance, no longer will religion determine the relationship between God and man, but the evident being-in-one of God and man, of which mysticism dreamed.

No longer will the rule of Christ in the interim period, under the sign of the cross, accepted in faith, prevail in the Church, but God's rule directly and solely, for the happiness of a new humanity.  Yes, God himself will rule in his kingdom, to which even Jesus Christ his Son will submit and adapt himself, in accordance with that other great saying of Paul:  "And when everything is subjected to him (the Son),  then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all."

As I'm always having to point out, I'm a political blogger.  In real life, my concerns aren't exclusively political but that is the theme of my public writing.  The primary concern of my political orientation is how to get people to treat other people, other animals, the environment well instead of badly.   It is the problem which is the basis of this series going through the pages at the very end of Hans Kung's great trilogy of books dealing with the existence of God, of Jesus and life after death is based in.  

What is the difference in conduct that a real, really real belief in the Gospel of Jesus and the claims made about him by those who knew him and Paul who believed he encountered him, not in his natural body but in the Resurrected Jesus who was physical and far more than just physical, a few years after his death and Resurrection.  

I asked what you could expect in a next-door neighbor who really, truly believed in the teachings of Jesus and one who was a materialist, atheist who believed that there was no God, no objective moral obligations, no consequences for being selfish, self-centered, pleasure driven if only he could rig it to escape discovery or consequences.   In the case of the former, your guarantees of having a good neighbor are only as good as the sincerity of the belief in the Gospel and the belief that they would have to face the far more probing eye and hand of justice for things they did and didn't do in this life.   In the later, your guarantees are only as good as the personal whims of the neighbor, whether or not they were inclined to be friendly on a reliable basis, generous, considerate and not larcenous, malicious, sadistic, vengeful or, indeed, homicidal.   Well, there is also whether or not a bad neighbor will fear getting away with what they do, of the law or the neighborhood not catching him in the act and pinning it to him.  In the case of a nominal Christian who is inclined to be a bad neighbor, they couldn't count on the inability of human justice to catch up with them.  

I would say that the extent to which someone who professes Christianity trying to get away with violations of the teachings of Jesus is a very reliable measure of the real strength of their professed beliefs.   Someone who expects an accounting in the infallible sight and knowledge of God would probably be a very good risk to do unto others as they would have done unto them, to do for the least among us what they would do to that very God whose judgement they will face (as, in fact, that passage of Jesus's teaching says will happen to those who neglect to do so), to forgive*.

This view of the final end of Creation expounded by Kung is not one I was taught in catechism though it is certainly one that is far more consonant with the Second Testament than the pseudo-medieval, 19th century apocalypse conceptions that are too narrow in their focus. It is also a view which, to my surprise, I found was a very early interpretation of the Second Testament and the First one by some of the earliest commentators on those in the Christian tradiion.  I would ask how you could expect someone who believed in it to behave, to act, to live, as opposed to the gloomy heat-death view of the universe, the futility of human (and all other) life, the utterly depressing view of existence as cynically celebrated in the The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the tediously perpetually retreaded tiresome one-trick pony of Douglas Adams.  

With an acceptance of even the possibility that this view of reality could be true, a far wider view of life is possible, with its acceptance so much of the neurotic, psychotic features of modernism would evaporate like a hallucination that you realized was a hallucination.  I would expect that people who really believed in it would be far more likely to energetically participate in trying to establish what of justice they could as hastening the final consummation of Creation instead of wallowing in bitter, cynical self-absorption, the quite often encountered character of those who are materialists and atheists.  I am reminded of the question of Ray Hyman, when he asked why his fellow "skeptics" for which you can more honestly say scientistic materialist, atheists, were "cynical, nasty people".**  I think that this goes a long way in explaining that.  

* I think that the commandment for humans to forgive whereas God can judge makes no sense unless you take into account that God's judgement would be done on the basis of seeing and knowing the entire picture, including knowing the heart of the one being judged.  It is an acknowledgement that human justice is, at best, a pale imitation of real justice which must be done with the utmost care and with the utmost humility.  

**  George Hansen notedA few individuals in the national organization have expressed concern about the image projected by the local affiliates. Ray Hyman has been quoted as speaking of a “frightening” “fundamentalism” and “witch-hunting” when discussing the rise of the popular debunking movement (Clark, 1987). Hyman has also been quoted as saying: “As a whole, parapsychologists are nice, honest people, while the critics are cynical, nasty people” (McBeath & Thalboume, 1985, p. 3). Hyman (1987) wrote an article advising the local groups how to be effective critics; this was published in Skeptical Briefs and reprinted in a number of newsletters. He suggested using “the principle of charity,” saying “I know that many of my fellow critics will find this principle to be unpalatable” (p. 5, italics added).

The problems caused by cynicism and hostility have been recognized by the organization, and steps are being taken to diminish them. The severity of the problem cannot be attributed entirely to male dominance; after all, a number of other predominantly male organizations do not have such a reputation. It is likely that there are a number of other factors that contribute to the perceived demeanor.

I will note that George Hansen wrote that passage in 1992, I think, if anything, the typical atheist polemicist is more cynical and nastier than they were, even then.  

I will also note, as a political blogger from the United States, that the same description pretty well covers the Republican-fascists of the past thirty years, the poster-boy of that,  Newt Gingrich rose to power soon after that was written and that his nominal conversion to Catholicism by a neo-integralist, right-wing priest (who has subsequently been found guilty of sexual abuse) has certainly done nothing to make him live a life more in line with the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, etc.  The vulgar materialists, even when they are such hypocrites to espouse a "christianity" of convience and opportunity, have a lot in common with the more elite brand of materialism, though, really, not much of materialism is very intellectually distinguished.  

Note:  Reading this over, I should say that I have come to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus but have found that even in the Gospels and Paul, that claimed Resurrection was not the mere animation of his corpse but was of a new body which, while fully physical was far more than merely physical.  That's something I wish the old Baltimore Catechism had acknowledged was contained in the letters of Paul and the Gospels.  The descriptions of the encounters with the risen Jesus certainly presented him as physical but far more than just that.   It's another thing that was certainly noticed by, especially, the Eastern Christian commentators from a very early period.  It is especially interesting to me that the Eastern Churches make far more of the Transfiguration in that regard, as well.  So, that's the answer the the question I wrote about here before I understood that.  I wish I had another fifty years to look at the ways in which Western Christianity was hampered by misunderstood texts badly translated into Latin and the influence those had on subsequent Western Christianity.   Though, as I've said before, the history of Eastern Christianity, especially the Orthodox Churches have their own problems, especially those involved with nationalism and the influence of those who hold power.   As Kung said, the final consummation will not be a human kingdom.  Jesus said it, too. 

Will Trump Win This One Too? Why The Media, Even The Opposition Media Is Helping Him To

Will you turn the parlour off?" he asked. "That's my family." "Will you turn it off for a sick man?" "I'll turn it down." She went out of the room and did nothing to the parlour and came back. "Is that better?

Ray Bradbury:  Ferenheit 451

It is becoming clear that the Trump strategy of having his fat, lying, painted face on TV everyday is helping him sucker a dangerous percentage of the American People.  People who can be, as the current phrase puts it, "gaslighted" into believing that what they saw Trump say and what they heard he did yesterday or last week or last month didn't happen.   Or to allow those who are as prone to depraved unreality as he is pretend that it doesn't really matter.  That is certainly a kind of thinking that a lifetime of watching the unreality of TV will produce in those vulnerable to it as certainly as a lifetime of smoking or drinking alcohol will produce the effects in those predisposed to developing emphysema or cancer or liver disease or the not entirely different dementia caused by alcohol use.

And the TV producers, directors, "news" directors are helping in that effort even in the face of Trump suckering people in the very midst of the pandemic that, if Republican-fascist, Trumpian, oligarchic desires were in effect, could be expected to kill millions instead of the hundreds of thousands that are expected under the least horrible scenarios IF SEVERE MEASURES TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE ARE UNDERTAKEN. 

That the world-wide economy is going to take a severe hit under any circumstances has been clear for a while, now.  Than the Trumpian prescription that he is now, sometimes, to an extent and probably only on some days changing,  lifting stay-at-home orders would produce even worse economic consequences as those millions crash the private-for-profit medical system in the United States and force further shut downs of travel and work and gatherings only figures into the idea men behind Republican-fascism and the propaganda machines of oligarchy in so far as they can game the current conditions to gull the suckers.  They will be "gaslighting" the American People, trained by TV to be suckers - all of those commercials and all of the corporate propaganda allowed by the unregulated mass media should have rationally been expected to produce no other effect - that suckering of the American People will continue.

Other than getting a decisive majority of Americans to give up the slogans and phony substitute morality that the ACLU and, yes, the media have suckered them into valuing more than the truth that is needed to sustain egalitarian democracy, I don't know what can be done to change this.  The media has proven over the past forty years that they are fully in with Republican-fascism, not the economic disasters that have come from giving the crooks and industrialists and hucksters and liars free reign to sucker the public.  Previous disasters have not changed that.  Not the disasters such as the illegal invasion of Iraq, sold on lies told on TV and on the radio,  it has been very good for both the media and for its owners. 

It has been good for the scribbling industry and the entertainment media that is the primary engine for turning the American People into the kind of country that might produce a Trump once and, as many are fearing, returning him to have another four years to loot and crash the country and the world.  Even Trump's fiercest critics in the commercial media would be appalled at someone like me suggesting that their "more speech" has proven to be not only ineffective but a help to the corrupting and destruction of the United States.  Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Mother Jones, the entire lefty media are as invested in those slogans and ersatz replacements that include the protection and, so, privilegiing of lies of the very kind they are largely powerless to overturn.

Democracy can only exist within limited parameters in which those with wealth and power and control of the media are permitted to act.  Government of, by and for The People is inevitably in opposition to the interests of the rich and powerful.  You can choose one or the other,  they can be given absolute freedom as the disastrous literal reading of the First Amendment does OR YOU CAN HAVE EGALITARIAN DEMOCRACY, YOU CANNOT HAVE BOTH.  That is the meaning of the last half-century of America's experiment with free-speech, free-press absolutism in which the media has been freed of all restrictions, inclusing that most dangerous one, to spread misinformation, the huge permission granted by the Warren Court to the New  York Times in 1964 over what should have been a mere order for them to correct the minor mistakes in an add and to pay the court costs of the scumball they printed those bits of misinformation about.  From that and from the lofty and obviously wrong declarations of how the complete freedom of the media to fearlessly publish whatever they wanted would produce complete freedom has come the corrupted American Public who can be gulled into forgetting or pretending to forget what they saw and heard Donald Trump say yesterday or last week or last month.  The habits of watching a lot of TV have that effect too, they prevent people from the habit of remembering things accurately, everything is present stream of consciousness without any of the self-discipline that comes from paying attention to real life instead of the tube.

The present pandemic shows what happens when a large percentage of the public have been so damaged in mind and soul, so corrupted that even their own safety doesn't make much of an impression on them as opposed to the hucker wizard on the screen in front of them and his lying babble.   Why should anyone be surprised?  The "journalists" on TV are as big a bunch of suckers, the ones who praised his "change of tone" as they praised Bush II's "change of tone" as he became the previous worst president in modern times.  They're either as big a bunch of chumps as their audiences are or they're in on the con job.   I would include those who uphold the ACLU line on "free speech, free press"  in, perhaps, sincere opposition as I do the CNN-ABC-CBS-NPR con artists in that.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

On The Alleged Christianity of Mike Pence - Stupid Hate Mail

Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves.  You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs.  A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit.  And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.  So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.

Matthew  7:15-20

You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father's desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies. 

John 8:44

What does it mean to believe in a consummation in eternal life by God? - Part 2

Part 1 

I will state again that these posts are the product of being extremely busy right now so they might not be as unified as I'd like to make them.  

In his presentation of the consequences or possibilities available to a person who chooses to believe in the Christian view of the Resurrection and eternal life Hans Kung goes on to further list things that are possible with it which are not possible in denial of it. 

What does it mean to believe in a consummation in eternal life by God as he showed himself in Jesus of Nazareth?  

To believe in an eternal life means - in responsible trust,in enlightened faith, in tried and tested hope - to rely on the fact that I shall one day understood, freed from guilt and definitively accepted and can be myself without fear that my impenetrable and ambivalent existence, like the profoundly discordant history of humanity as a whole, will one day become finally transparent and the question of the meaning of history one day be finally answered.   I need not then believe with Karl Marx in the kingdom of freedom only here on earth or with Friedrich Nietzsche in the eternal recurrence of the same.  But neither do I have to consider history with Jacob Burckhardt in stoic-epicurean aloofness from the standpoint of a pessimistic skeptic. And still less do I need to mourn as a critic for civilization, with Osawld Spengler the decline of the West and that of our own existence. 

No, If I believe in an eternal life, then in all modesty and all realism and without yielding to the terror of violent benefactors of the people [I suspect the word "benefactors" must be read ironically], I can work for a better future, a better society, even a better Church, in peace, freedom and justice - and knowing that all this can only be sought and never fully realized by man.

If I believe in an eternal life, I know that this world is not the ultimate reality, conditions do not remain as they are forever, all that exists - including both political and religious institutions - has a provisional character, the division into classes and races, poor and rich, rulers and [ruled]* remains temporary, the world is changing and changable.  

If I believe in an eternal life, then it is always possible to endow my life and that of others with meaning.  A meaning is given to the inexorable evolution of the cosmos out of the hope that there will be a true consummation of the individual and of human society and indeed a liberation and transfiguration of creation, on which lie the shadows of transitoriness, coming about only by the glory of God himself,.  Only then will the conflicts and sufferings of nature be overcome and its ongoings fulfilled.  Yes,  "all joy wants eternity, wants deep, deep, deep eternity,"  Nietzsche's song in Zarathustra is here and here alone elevated.  Instructed by the apostle Paul, I know that nature will share in the glory of God:  The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons (and daughters).  It is not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God;  but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God.  From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great at of giving birth;  and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. 

One of the most telling of evidences that those who knew Jesus or those who knew those who knew people who knew him and were convinced of his resurrection really believed was their willingness to face persecution or death to spread the Gospel and to put into practice the moral teachings that, after all, got Jesus pursued by the authorities and killed.  Paul, who, before his conversion was one of the ones doing the persecuting, in one of the earliest available texts of Christianity, made that an explicit part of his arguments for belief. 

And as for us—why would we run the risk of danger every hour? My friends, I face death every day! The pride I have in you, in our life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord, makes me declare this.  If I have, as it were, fought “wild beasts” here in Ephesus simply from human motives, what have I gained? But if the dead are not raised to life, then, as the saying goes, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.”

Paul was explicitly contrasting a popular view of paganism, found not only among Epicureans but which can be seen in many places in pagan literature and, especially, in the articulation of materialism throughout Eurasia with the world view, the conception of human experience and, indeed, the entire universe in Christianity.  David Bentley Hart, in one of his lectures or interviews, I can't remember which one, said that in contrast to modern Western lore, classical paganism was a dreary, gloomy view of life and that one of the accusations made against the early Christians was that their view of reality was apt to lead someone to have a far more cheerful view of life.***  Apparently there were kinds of cheer which, like so many contemporary Brits, they held were not allowed because they were not sour enough for their taste and they promoted equality that was not welcomed.  It's always been rather an odd thing, now much atheists care that other people believe other things which, if they were faithful to their ideological creed, they shouldn't be bothered by at all.  

I think one of the consequences of pessimism as manifested in the gloomy shadow existence after death such as was found in paganism and the presently recurring modernistic attraction to the dogma of the extinction of consciousness at death is that it leads to definite consequences in how we choose to live now.  I think part of the attribution of egalitarian democracy to the Jewish teaching of justice and the Christian ethic of universal love coming from Habermas and Kloppenberg and others is directly due to the form of Jewish-Christian belief that Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians and Romans.  I really am convinced that that is right, that, as Habermas said, it is the only source of nourishment for egalitarian democracy, even today in the modern period when so many other materialistic-atheistic-scientistic substitutions have been proposed, in some cases imposed and which have produced horrors to rival those of the classical and medieval periods.  When you believe in those things, when you believe that death is the end of things, you really don't have to worry about the consequences of what you do ever being paid by you, if you can work it the right way.  

And if you align yourself to a strong-man in power - as the so-called evangelicals do in such huge percentages in the Trumpian United States - or a despotic system such as William Barr and the Federalists dream of putting into place, you can commit any evil with impunity and, if you don't really believe in the Gospel or its equivalent, including an eventual accounting of your actions, then the only restrictions on the cruelty and depravity of your actions will depend on your personal predilections.  As we have seen, even among nominal Christians and, perhaps especially, nominal Catholics, a lot of them clearly don't believe in The Gospel or, ironically for the many lawyers who go to those abominable "red masses" in supposed memory of Thomas More, they demonstrate they most certainly don't believe in the Law of Moses.  

I will agree with those Catholic critics who note that so many, like William Barr's family, like others like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, etc. who converted to Catholicism love the traditional authoritarianism of pre-Vatican II feudal Catholicism (and its continuation in the hierarchy even after Vatican II) as they openly despise The Gospel, the Prophets and those parts of The Law that call for radical justice and truth.   The Catholic right, the Catholicism of the likes of Raymond Burke are an abomination and a heresy against the Scriptures.  

One of the practical consequences of believing in the static view of reality promoted by materialism, atheism, scientism, classical paganism is that things tend to not get better, there is no more equal distribution of wealth, there is no struggle to make life better, there is no real caring about posterity except as limited by a personal, sentimental attachment to ones own children.  That is no way to make life better.  It's more likely that such materialists will wallow in whatever comfort they can make for themselves than try to improve life for everyone.   I think that's one of the reasons that the atheist, materialist, scientistic play-left has been such a notable flop in changing things, that and their seemingly inevitable attraction to foreign despots and their domestic and impotent daddy figures. 

*  There is a confusing typo in the printed translation at this point and I don't have the original German to check it against. 

** Before reading Hans Kung's three works dealing with the existence of God, the consequences of believing in Jesus and life after death, I hadn't really appreciated the extent to which the Catholicism I'd been taught depended on the first figure he dealt with in the beginning of the first of those books,  Rene Descartes, and that the resultant form of Christianity was not only a shadow of what is presented in the Gospels, the Epistles and, especially, in Paul, it is, in many points destructive of both religion and of our present human life. 

I trust Descartes in mathematics, in some points of natural philosophy, but I think lots of what he and some of the other figures of early modern science, Francis Bacon, for example, is the source of some of the worst parts of modernism such as the destruction of the biosphere.  Their utilitarian view of Creation is a disaster. 

***  One of the down-sides of listening to so many lectures and sermons online is that I tend to forget who said what.  I'm usually doing housework while I listen so I don't take notes.   

I think it was either Hart or Rowan Williams who talked about the common view of the afterlife in pagan belief and in some of the Old Testament as a presentation of a gloomy, terrible shadow existence.  They talked about the souls of those killed in battle in the Iliad departing wish shrieks of pain and despair and the declaration Achilles in the Odyssey of about the most miserable of humans being happier than the most fortunate of the dead.  

 Glorious Odysseus: don’t try to reconcile me to my dying. I’d rather serve as another man’s labourer, as a poor peasant without land, and be alive on Earth, than be lord of all the lifeless dead.

Maybe they were on their way to a stay in a purgatorial Hades to be purged for the sins they committed in life.  Maybe that's what they thought they heard as the warriors died.  In the Odyssey it's clear that Achilles hadn't been there long enough to be purged of his all-too human desire for revenge because right after that he tells Odysseus that he wishes he could come back to life to wreak the same kind of revenge that ended up with him being killed and he rejoices that his son is living the same kind of life. 

The influence of the ambient paganism on some of the writers of the Hebrew Scriptures is probably a lot stronger than we might like to think.  I think the modernist Christian tendency to accentuate those as a means of discounting the belief in an afterlife among them is probably not entirely valid.  I think those who interpret the talk about the dead "joining their fathers" as an expression of a belief in the afterlife is more likely true.  

It's clear that those Biblical Jews who chose to die instead of violating The Law believed in some consequences if they chose to violate the Law and live.  They certainly didn't act as if they shared the Homeric view of the afterlife as something worse than what Greek oligarchs would have considered to be the lives of the most wretched of human kind - and that is even with the Hebrew view of the least among us as being people cherished by God for whom the Law demanded justice and sustenance be given.   I think the Jewish view of the least among us is inevitably related to a belief in consequences of committing injustice, consequences if not in this life than in a life to come. And with those consequences in an afterlife, they must have believed there were consequences of following The Law that weren't fulfilled in this life.  But that's interpretation.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mom, Duane, Hank et al. I needed this right now.

I scrolled down so I could't see the actors, it worked better for me that way. 

Rowan Williams - What Is A Good Life

I was delighted to discover in probably the fifth century work by a man with the unwelcoming name of Mark the Aesthetic, a very vivid description of what goes wrong and how unexamined instinct, pure reactivity prevents us from a good life either a sense of feeling at-home with ourselves and our environment or in the sense of being actively benevolent.

Here's what goes wrong - pardon the gender exclusive language it is still the fifth century.

"He who does not understand God's judgements walks walks on a ridge-like knife's edge and is easily unbalanced by every passing wind. 

When praised, he exalts.  When criticized he is bitter. 

When he feasts he makes a pig of himself.   When he suffers hardship he moans and groans. 

When he understands he shows off and when he does not he pretends that he does. 

When rich he is boastful,  when he in poverty, he plays the hypocrite 

Gorged he grows brazen and when he fasts he becomes arrogant. 

He quarrels with those who reprove him and those who forgive him he regards as fools. "

It's a fine description of a certain number of public figures  one can think of also even more uncomfortably of oneself.   I quoted it, not so much as a summary of evil doing but as pathologized perception. 

The person who cannot see what there is, relating all things to himself or herself becomes locked into a selfhood constructed in a very strict and careful opposition, an exclusion of a human environment which might challenge, enlarge, heal, even. 

That passage starts at about 9:00. 

How "It Works" To Really Believe In The Christian View Of Reality As Opposed To The Materialistic-Scientistic-Atheist View Of It

One of the pretenses of modern thought would seem to be that the declaration that you "believe in science" renders the believer immune to the typical habits of thought that science was invented to try to overcome.   Such a belief is not scientifically sustainable because even the most rigorous of scientists and the mathematicians whose methods the sciences aspire to merely approximate have, from time immemorial, been fully capable of acting out of commonly held habits of thought, of reliance on authority unchecked and unverified and, perhaps most of all, the mistaken belief that what is really based on personal preference is based in rigorous scientific methodology.   As I am looking more at what I can find of Richard Epstein, he is typical of one stream of that in the pretense of lawyers and economists that they are biologists, a bad habit that certainly is in line with Darwin's use of Thomas Malthus's political economics theory as the basis of his own theory of natural selection. 

But that is a pretense, it isn't real, it's no more real than the adherence to The Gospel, or the Law by so many, too many of those who profess such an adherence. 

A lot of what is passed off as scientific rigor is not actually founded in rigorous scientific method but in one or several of the above listed deviations from scientific method - often so conventionally done that the person doing it would have to have it pointed out in rigorous terms that that is what they are doing.  Very often the desire for something "to work" to produce a desired end is given as the justification for a less than rigorously founded scientific theory to be introduced into and, in the fullness of time and as its use becomes habitual within science, becomes the required ideological holding within science.  As I have tirelessly pointed out, natural selection is the quintessential example of that in widely believed science.   Often I have had people I've argued the flimsy foundations and definition of natural selection with will, when pressed, fall back on the convenience of believing that it gives you anything from a claimed universal "explanation" of how evolution happened to at least being very "useful" for "understanding" evolution.  I think that habit of thought, ubiquitous throughout most of academia and an enforced dogma is what is on display in Richard Epstein's use of it.  But, furthermore, is that the theory, itself, was, from the start in Malthusian economics, guaranteed to gain traction BECAUSE IT IS A THEORY THAT FAVORS THOSE ALREADY WITH WEALTH AND POWER OR THOSE WHO CAN GET THOSE FOR THEMSELVES OR WHO BELIEVE THEY MIGHT.   

And it is also attractive as a theory because of its use in atheist-materialist-scientistic polemics.  I think that is at least as strong a motive in ignoring the many problems with the idea, both as a scientific theory and the malignant effects that it has had since its most noted early adopters,  Francis Galton, Thomas Huxley, Ernst Haeckel, etc. have used it to advocate for everything from the refusal of governments and societies to give needed food, clothing, shelter and medical aid to the least among them to the advocacy of genocide.   That is something which not only was never denied before the end of WWII, so far as I have found, it was one of the things that caused such proposed amendments as Kropotkin's "mutual aid" to be constructed to mitigate the essential and internal moral injustice and depravity which is an inevitable result of it.

"It works," you see, to produce all of these things.  It works for those it works for and that "it works" is a conventionally acceptable reason to retain it even as it produces such terrible effects.   I think in at least a large percentage of if not most of the uses of Darwnism, it is used for either those malignant effects that Richard Epstein got from it or for its, I fully believe, related use in promoting materialism, atheism and scientism.   The amoral effects of both efforts, the denial or morality, the indifference to the results in terms of life and death, is too strong a result to pretend there is no plausible connection between them. 


But this is the first part of a Lenten post.  

The overriding theme of Holy week, starting on Sunday,  Good Friday,  Easter, is death and life, the same thing that Darwinism is about, it is a far different view of those things founded in the fact that we are all going to die.   In light of the atheist-materialist-scientistic use of things "working" to produce an end, if it is valid as science can be claimed for religious believers as a test of ideas within religion.   It is one of the little regarded, often disposed of rules of science that you can't use different standards of judgment for different ideas because if you can claim that a standard of judgement is invalid for what you don't like, it is as invalid for the things you do like.  

What Do You Get From Believing In A. An  Afterlife, B. The Christian Belief In The Resurrection of Jesus?  

I am going to go through the last several pages of the Epilogue to Hans Kung's book, Eternal Life? Life After Death as a Medical, Philosophical, and Theological Problem, in which Kung lays out how a belief in those works, what you get from it, what it potentially does do.   I would say that it potentially does that if you hold fast to the idea that anything which you might get from it which denies the truth of the moral teachings of Jesus, the Law, the Prophets, must not be pursued by the far from easy universalism implied by what is said.  I'll start:

What difference would it make . . . ?

Yes, what difference would it make if there were not really this consummation in eternal life?   In view of philosophical projects of the present, as we frequently considered them in these lectures, it could be said:

If there is a consummation in eternal life,  then I have the justified hope - contrary to Sigmund Freud's atheistic fears - that the "oldest, strongest and most urgent wishes of mankind" are not illusions, but are eventually fulfilled;  

- then the idea that death is the absolutely final reality - which Theodore W. Ardorno found unthinkable - is in fact unthinkable, because untrue, 

- then for me a liberating surmounting, transcending, of the "one-dimensional man" into a really different dimension is areal alternative, as requiredby Herbert Marcuse, even now- even though fundamentally different than it is in Marcuse's work - made possible;

- then even all unpreventable suffering, which the supporters of the Critical Theory find cannot be removed conceptually, then the individual's unhappiness, pain, age and death, and also the threatening eschaton of boredom in a totally managed, dead world are not the ultimate reality, but can point to something quite different;

- then the hope of Max Horkheimer and innumerable other people for perfect justice, for absolute meaning and eternal truth, is not unreal but when all is said and done fulfillable  infinitely fulfillable;

- then the infinte longing of man - who, according to Ernst Bloch, is restless, unfinished, never fulfilled, continually starting out afreesh, continually  longing, learning, seeking, continually reaching out for what is different and new - has nevertheless a meaning and does not essentially end in a void;

- then the great peut-être of the dying Rabelais - which for Block remained the extreme possibility of a reaction is also definitively reliable, pointing not only to something undefined and uncertain but to a wholly other, new reality.

Yes, if the hope for a God in heaven is justified, then for this earth it can be understood, substantiated and motivated:

- why man bears a responsibility for this earth, which he has not himself created, for nature, which is no longer the object of romantic, religious fervor, but the very foundation of his life, with which he has to cope reasonably;

- why at the same time we must be concerned not only about our own generation but also about future generations; why then subsequent generations also have a justified interest in an inhabited earth, in natural resources not squandered on armaments, on the acceptable burden of financial debt, why then not all economic "growth" itself implies "development" or "progress":  why then the question must always be asked, not only about the "how much," but also the "what" of production and consumption, about the quality of growth, about the whither of development and progress. 

I think it is entirely legitimate to consider what you can possibly get when you choose to believe  in eternal life is at least possible that you will certainly not if you believe it is not there is a legitimate consideration.  That is especially true if you hold that there are consequences for individuals in how they conduct their lives here, on earth which will have to be faced in the afterlife as compared to what people will do when they believe there will be no consequences.  That is, of course, something you could use as a means of judging whether or not the person who claims to belief based on their actual conduct and what they choose to pretend they believe is moral action.   I don't, for a single second, belief that many of the alleged figures of religion in the world have actually believed what they calimed to based in their professions of faith.  Right now the Falwell family, the Graham family, the Pence family, various televangilsts and others are proving that they don't, not at all, really believe in what they make their money from.  If they did really believe it, they wouldn't act as they do.  I would like to know which of them have been influenced by Richard Epstein, either directly from his written claims from the putrid Heritage Institute or second-hand as filtered through the Trump regime.  

It is entirely fair to give the famous, or infamous, succinct alternative to the view of reality presented at the end of an enormous three-volume study of these questions by Hans Kung as presented by the recently fashionable high-priest of neo-atheism,  Richard Dawkins, something which is, actually, a logical consequence of atheism as noted at least as far back as the 17th century libertines.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

I will pose it as an obvious thing that if you believe in the morally nihilistic materialistic-scientistic-atheistic version of reality, your only consideration other than personal preference, which is only as reliable as the whimsical and unrealible sense of the one holding to it,  is the consideration of what you figure you can get away with.  Clearly under the enforced naivety of the language of the First Amendment and the Republican-fascist administration of the law the evangelicaliars know they can get away with a lot.   I would say that it's clear that goes for their followers in large numbers.  

Who would you rather live next to, someone who believes that the morality of the Gospel is something they are going to have to answer for, if not now then in the life after death,  or someone who believed they didn't need to do unto others as they would do unto them, to do for the least among us what we would do to God, to love their enemies and pray for them, to love their neighbor as themselves, so long as they could rig things to act accordingly and get away with doing it?    Who would you rather have conduct national policy in this pandemic?  Someone who believes in the Gospel and that there will be consequences for our conduct in an afterlife, or in the people who are in charge in the United States?  

Note:  I've listed things in Kung's text in this form because it makes it easier to understand, I hope.  

The Belief In Natural Selection Kills People Especially When It Is Used Maliciously By The Academic Elite

I’m taking standard Darwinian economics—standard economic-evolutionary theory out of Darwin—and applying it to this particular case.

Richard Epstein 

I’ve worked on evolutionary theory for forty years in its relationship to law.

Richard Epstein

Last Wednesday, I said, This pandemic has certainly exposed the fact that even as most of us were required to take a Biology class in high school, most people seem to be pretty clueless about even relatively simple facts about viruses and the hygiene that is needed to avoid infection.  So much for the highly vaunted emphasis on the STEM subjects - though that was only ever really about the needs of business, not the needs of the common good.   I long ago noted one of the results of that was, oddly, a deterioration in the reasoning of such human production bots.  But that's for another time. 

I was wrong,  it's not for another time, it is disastrously timely right now in a way I hadn't suspected before yesterday. 

I was only marginally aware of the far-right, pseudo-scientific legal theorist, Richard Epstein before the other day.  I had run into his name in the course of my research into Darwinism as the malignant force it has been, especially when it is taken out of the largely speculative world of evolutionary biology and applied to political, legal and other areas of real life. 

I have not had the time to research Richard Epstein, to look at his papers in depth, though for a short look the interview Isaac Chotiner did with him for the New Yorker reveals that his mixing of Darwinism in one of its more naively superannuated forms (probably what both "Darwinism" and "evolution" mean to most college-credentialed people who aren't actual biologists who keep up with their field) and right-wing economic and political theories yield the same kind of cold-blooded promotions of racism (his Darwinism reportedly leads to his demand to overturn the 1960s civil rights legislation) and inequality that should be all too familiar to anyone who has read the pieces I've posted here and fact checked the things I have cited from the mainstream of Darwinism from 1859 on.  

The scientific validity of this bull shit is nicely expressed in this, from Chotiner's piece:

Look, all it is is it’s a distribution. What you do is you figure out what this toxicity strength is and if it’s X at one point, then it’s going to be some fraction of X down the road. And it’s quite clear that that is what happened with aids. And then, when it comes along and you start getting [the antiretroviral drug] AZT and other conditions, it’s easier to treat them because all of a sudden aids is evolved in much the same path as syphilis. If you go through the history of syphilis, it starts off, it’s essentially a deadly disease and kills most people. And then those who survive have the milder version of it. And so after a while what happens is it becomes a tamer disease
Syphilis is a bacterial infection, not a viral infection. “One doesn’t have anything to do with the other,” Kuritzkes said. Ko told me, “That’s not something that is based in empirical evidence, so the fallacy in his argument is the over-all lack of scientific rigor in his analysis.”

I will also point out that in the same post a week ago, I said,  I wonder if, say, half of the effort that went into the great evolution wars had been spent on those areas of biology that are not controversial and which, unlike evolution, having wrong or even just foggy notions about can get us all killed, where we'd be now.  

We are getting a very unwelcomed lesson in how the theory of natural selection gets large numbers of people killed because it is useful to the worst political-legal-economic theories, something that has been obvious since it was forming in Darwin's mind out of the equally homicidal economic theories of Thomas Malthus. 

As I said yesterday,  I'm too busy with caring for someone who Epstein probably wouldn't think it economically worth while to keep alive.  I will look into him and his sources more and I will nail the guy if what I've seen so far looks like what it is.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Angry Adolescent Movie Addled Hate Mail

Just how bored are people?  I didn't expect someone who was complaining about my old posts expressing my disdain of Hollywood to actually ask me an interesting question I had to think about, it was what was the last Hollywood movie I liked.  First, I never expected someone to read them.  I'd rather they get pissed off over the Darwin posts or the challenge to materialists, but, no, it's friggin' Hollywood. 

I think about the last movie I was totally happy about that might arguably match that description was The Conversation.  Which is one of the rare movies I'd call worthy of being considered a work of art.  And it's almost a half century old.

No, the movies are one of the most wasteful mediums and one that produces easily 500 times more garbage than worthwhile stuff.   There are other forms you can say that about, pulp novels, who-done-its,  pop-music, but none of them are remotely as expensive as the movies and they have a higher quality to crap ratio.

That The Conversation lost the Oscar to Godfather II tells you everything you need to know about Hollywood.  If I'd made both movies I can tell you, I might have liked the money that Gf II made but I'd be a lot more proud of The Conversation.

And I'm bored enough so I'm anticipating this annoying the world's oldest adolescent.  That's more fun than easily most of the movies I've seen and it's not all that much fun.

Update:  No, I knew Simps would get his pinafore in a knot over me dissing Hollywood movies, he doesn't read so they're his idea of reality.  And he's an habitual liar who bears false witness like Kellyanne Conway. Duncan Black has no problem with him lying on his cash cow of a blog because Duncan is a self-centered, nihilistic slacker who is disappointed to find out that the world didn't believe him the genius his one-time mentor hoped he would turn out to be.  I expect he'll be a Republican, again, before the end of his life. 

I knew he'd have a little hissy fit and I knew that he'd lie about me.  I don't care because I don't care about his audience. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

"and so it became good, it became "good" in a way which is toxic for those who don't belong"

Rowan Williams on Marilynne Robinson's Gilead cycle and Lila and everything else. 

Lee Morgan - Lament For Stacey

Lee Morgan, trumpet
John Gilmore, tenor sax
John Hicks, piano
Victor Sproles, bass
Art Blakey, drums

Lies Privileged As "Freedom" and "Rights" Are What Got Us Here

I am facing the situation where I may or may not have had Covid-19 and may or may not be safe for other people to be around and I'm faced with the situation of another family member who needs care, cannot get it and, again, may or may not have it now.  Someone has to take care of her and I'm the only one in my generation who has no children or grandchildren in my family and who is in relatively good health and, frankly, with more experience in doing it than my other siblings.  The resource that gay uncles have been to many families is too little appreciated.

By the end of today the choice to step in will be forced by circumstances.   The hospitals even here are are on the point of being overwhelmed and all of that reassuring talk about the test being available is, frankly, not true, even now.  I would bet you my bank account that someone in the Trump-Kushner families, the families of his appointees, big donors to Republican-fascism were planning on profiteering off of an "American test".   

One of my sisters is sewing masks so I'll probably have a couple that can be washed.  I've asked for one with tie-strings and not elastic.  I don't trust elastic.  Thank heavens another sister had a ton of disused flannel sheets she was hoarding.  

This is a situation that more and more people are going to find themselves in.  This is the real-life, wide-awake thing that was the dream of small-government, libertarian, neo-confederate, free market fantasists promoted in the free press, the cabloid media, from the neo-Confederate fantasist Ted Turner, the opportunistic hustlers in 'opinion journalism' and the never ending downward spiral of right wing ideology right down to the levels of the ass kissers of the Prince of  Liars in the Murdoch and Sinclair outfits.   

We got here through lies freely permitted, so privileged, by the libertarian liberalism of the Warren Court and subsequent courts dominated by Republican fascists subsequently enabled by that fatally naive and wrongheaded conception of freedom.  

Lies are a denial of reality at their least bad, at worst they are a conscious replacement of reality with falsehoods constructed to benefit the liars.  Anyone who could have ever conceived of "freedom" or rights that encompassed the permission of lies to be told in the mass media fed to Americans, hours a day, day after day, year after year, has no right to be surprised at how bad this has gotten, especially those in such professions as the law which, at least in some instances, is alleged to be a search for truth with the goal of producing justice.  This crisis is a result of many kinds of lies, from a denial of the sciences dealing with how infectious diseases arise and develop in the meat and egg industries and what happens once such diseases pass into humans and become transmissible from human to human.  But that is only the primary level of lies that have made it spread around the world and to have reached the levels it has now in the United States.   Some of the most dangerous are the lies that make us retain the anti-democratic features of the Constitution such as the Electoral College, the lies that permit the media to lie some of the worst people in our history into the presidency, the Senate, the House and on to the courts, the lies spread in social media which is like a brain-eating social syphilis that has gone well past the stage of producing the equivalent of dementia in a dangerous percentage of the population.  

We were lied into this crisis, the lies are continuing to make it worse. If whoever is left after this does not see the role that lies play in bringing us to disaster, lies permitted, enabled and, yes, ENCOURAGED by the judicial and legal dogmas that have had full reign in this country for more than a century and which will always be a danger, this and worse will happen over and over again.  And if we cannot pull out of it no one should be surprised when it comes back, worse, or when the next one comes.  

And it's going to come:

It’s easy for those of us in the Western world to shake our heads at the live wildlife markets in China that appear to be the origin of the coronavirus pandemic now paralyzing the globe. Easy, that is, since such a practice is so literally quite foreign to us. (In their defense, at least, China has now banned such markets.)

But what’s more difficult is to be honest with ourselves about what kinds of pandemics we may be brewing through own risky animal-use practices. And while the new coronavirus, crippling as it is, might have a somewhat merciful case fatality rate (proportion of those infected who die) of less than 1 percent, we know that this catastrophe may be just a dress rehearsal for an even more serious pandemic that could take a more gruesome toll—akin to the 1918 global flu pandemic, which originated in Kansas and killed at least 50 million people.

When that day comes, it’s very likely that such a virus will also have its origin in humanity’s seemingly insatiable desire to eat animals, whether wild or domestic. The conditions in which we often farm animals today—crowding tens of thousands of animals wing-to-wing or snout-to-snout—serve as “amplifiers” for viral pandemics.

Indeed, the H1N1 swine flu outbreak of 2009 appears to have originated in a pig confinement operation in North Carolina. And while the H5N1 bird flu outbreak in 1997 evidently originated in Chinese chicken farms (case fatality rate 60 percent), a similar bird flu in the U.S. just five years ago led American poultry farmers to kill tens of millions of their birds to contain the outbreak, which thankfully never made the jump into the human population. And at this very moment, both India and China have announced bird flu outbreaks among their chicken factories. Similarly, these are not yet affecting human health.

I can guarantee you that the American media will never promote the truth that this kind of pandemic can come out of any state of the United States that has a meat or egg industry and the fact is all of them do.  To do so would bad for the thing the thing they care about most, their profits.  That is more important to them than telling the hard truth about even the most dangerous of things,  to that extent, they are almost all FOX and Sinclaire. 

The title of the article says "few people think about" this and I think one of the biggest reasons for that is the influence of the meat industry, the farm lobby on both the governments of quasi and alleged democracies.   There have been bills being passed in legislatures and provincial governments making it illegal for people to report on the conditions in industrial farm operations, which, I have no doubt, the very courts who are all "free speech-free press" when it benefit the wealthy and the political parties that favor them will find some language to allow.   That kind of moral degeneracy in the courts has been promoted by both conservatives and so-called liberals. Though the liberals are generally either of the libertarian-18th century variety or those cowed by the promiscuous recitation of the slogans and buzz-words of the civil liberties industry.  

A cover-up is a lie by a different means, it accomplishes the same thing.  It has the same deadly potential.  

The human population is not going to become vegan so we can be certain that this is something that will come back, over and over again. Allowing lies to swamp the truth, as lies inevitably will, is a mass delusion of those with college credentials.  It makes most of the stuff from the medieval scholastic intellectuals that moderns love to mock look like harmless folly by comparison. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Plague Shut-In Radio Drama - David Zane Mairowitz-- James’s Story

James’s Story is a new play written and directed by the internationally acclaimed author, David Zane Mairowitz.

In James’s Story, an Englishman remembers a holiday to Dingle in 1968, while his memories are revised and re-animated by his friend, the Story Poacher.

Two episodes haunt James’s memory: A chance meeting with an old man; and a tense encounter in a local pub, coloured by legacies of the War of Independence. Only the Story Poacher can connect both events.

The play stars Stephen Rea as the Story Poacher.James of the title is James Rooke himself, who reads his own story.

The drama was partially recorded on location in Dingle and features a host of local actors and musicians including Páidí Mharthain Mac Gearailt, Noel Ó Maoileoin, Pádraig Ó’Sé (Box Accordion) and dancer Tomás Ó’Sé.

The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence FeeJames’s Story – 

Production CreditsWriter/Director David Zane Mairowitz

Stephen Rea (The Story Poacher)

James Rooke (as Himself)

Tom Macqueen (James as a Young Man)

Páidí Mharthain Mac Gearailt (The Old Farmer)

Richard Smallwood (The Lighthouse Keeper)

Róisín Dalby, (The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter)

Cristín de Mordha (The Barmaid)

Antaine Ó Séaghdha (The Young Boy)

Tomás Ó’Sé (Dancer)

Pádraig Ó’ Sé (Accordion)

Singers: Páidí Mharthain Mac Gearailt, Noel Ó Maoileoin, Maitias MacCárthaigh, Iarfhlaith Ó’Murchú, Boscó Ó’Conchúir, Pádraig Ó’Sé, and Marcus Mac Domhnaill

Contributors to the Documentary Sequences:

Jannette Uí Shúilleabhain, daughter of Eileen O’Connor,

Boscó Ó’Conchúir,

Sinead Joy, author of The IRA in Kerry 1916-1921

Pádraig Ó Héalaí , former Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish at NUI, GalwayAnd from the archives, the voice of Rebel Leader Frank Thornton.

Translation was by Tristan Rosenstock and Kevin Reynolds

Sound supervision and Sound Design were by Damian Chennells.

Broadcast Co-ordinator: Jarlath Holland.

Producer: Kevin BrewSeries 

Producer, Drama On One: Kevin Reynolds.

Special thanks to, Áine Delaney, and Séamus Ó’Súilleabháin for participating in recordings for the programme.


It takes a bit longer to get going than your typical radio drama, breaking the rule that you've got to grab the in about the first thirty seconds  but as it ended it made me think it was one of the best ones I've posted,  up there with Seeing In The Dark by Gordon Pengilly.   Good use of radio as a medium. 

I'd never heard of David Zane Mairowitz before (you can't read everyone worth reading) but looking him up I'm certainly going to be pursuing his stuff.  One of the things that looks intriguing is The Radical Soap Opera: Roots of Failure in the American Left from 1974, though I'm afraid if I find it I'll be kicking myself that I could have found out someone else figured out a lot of what I've taken far longer to see.  Or maybe I'll totally disagree with him. 

He's written quite a number of radio dramas,  here's another description of this one from that website.

The radio drama kicks off from a rather simple, but startling anecdote. Two young English art students, vacationing in a remote area of Kerry in the late 1960s, pass an old Irish farmer in a country lane. Hearing them speaking English, he calls to them and asks where they’re from. When they reply they are from London, he declares ‘I killed an Englishman once". The man explains that the event occurred at the time of the Troubles, when Sinn Fein exhorted the villagers to kill an Englishman. The men and boys over 14 draw straws and the task falls to the person who is now, years later, the old man telling the story. The narrator, listens, but starts to put his own interpretation on what he hears.