Saturday, April 16, 2016

Polka Party

I don't particularly like polka music, to be fair, I'm not really that big on dance music.  My father loved it, an Irish guy who grew up in the working class suburbs of Philadelphia, he knew lots of people from central-Europe and he loved polkas and kielbasa and such stuff.  He used to listen to a Polka Party radio show after the late mass on Sunday mornings.   The smell of kielbasa scrambled eggs and ketchup  made me want to throw up - he'd make that while he listened, maybe that accounts for why I couldn't take polka music. To be fair, I can't say that I can take Irish dance music by the hour, either.

But time passed, I became a vegetarian when I was a teenager and maybe I eventually lost my revulsion for polka music.  And another Polka Party program came to prominence on the University of New Hampshire student radio station, it made its DJ, Gary Sredzienski, a god to Poles around the world.  I listen to it sometimes because it's not just about the music - which I find hard to take - it's about the spirit.  Once after listening to it a Polish guy from Chicago happened to come by, I asked him if he was familiar with it, he couldn't believe anyone couldn't be.  We agreed that four hundred years from now, on Saturday mornings Poles in the future would still be listening to Polka Party shows.  You can listen to it live here, I'm listening to it right now or on Saturday mornings 9-11 Eastern Time or, I think, archived.  I listen to it because it's fun, I like to think of people having harmless fun.

Update:  Gary Sredzienski has an international following and last I heard was constantly in demand,  something you aren't, never were and never will be.   

Well, I can imagine people demanding you go away, but nothing else. 

The Vacuum of Conceit And Lords of Infinite Creation

I took a bit of post-literate atheist flack for the first sentence in my post yesterday:

The current atheist-cosmologist ideologues are insisting that the universe can create itself out of nothing BEFORE THE UNIVERSE EXISTED and needing to redefine nothing in order to do it. 

The part of that sentence which was derided was the idea of "before the universe existed," which was mocked as a failure of reason on my part.

But lost on the atheist "Brain Trusters" is the fact  the sentence wasn't about an idea I was promoting, it was contained in an idea I rejected.  An idea embraced by myriads of their atheist brethren.

And there is a lot more wrong with that idea than that there could have been a before, before the universe existed, if the present standard model of physics is, in fact, the last word in such matters, who knows if it is?

The idea I was responding to is most famously given by the celebrity cosmologist Stephen Hawking in his book, The Grand Design.

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing,

That's the most famous statement of the idea but he's hardly alone among celebrity atheist cosmologists in making that assertion.   For example, Larry Krauss pushes the same idea with his own creedal formulation of it,

Let's begin by saying that not only would there have had to be a before, before the universe existed in that sentence, there would have had to be a law such as gravity, before there was any matter, space and time for it to have worked through.   And the construction of the sentence implies that there were other laws, "such as" gravity in existence before the universe existed.  If they existed there had to have been a "before" before the universe existed and, oddly enough, for the universe to be able to create itself and for that to be a definite outcome of this odd situation, that before the universe existed it had the imperative to create itself.

I have lost count how many impossible things are either contained or implied in that sentence, it may have sufficed for the minimal daily requirement of those you're supposed to think before breakfast,

And Hawking is hardly alone in going on about there being a before, before time, atheist cosmologists who hate the idea of an absolute beginning to the universe have all kinds of things happening before the universe began.   You can read about them all over the place online, atheists are not shy about asserting many, wildly varied and even self contradicting scenarios of what happend before the universe began.  Michio Kaku mentioned three, specifically in the quotation I used from his blog 

This gives us a startling picture of the big bang, that our universe was born perhaps from the collision of two universes (the big splat theory), or sprouted from a parent universe, or simply popped into existence out of nothing.  So universes are being created all the time. (But Hawking goes one step farther and says that therefore here is no need of God, since God is not necessary to create the universe. I wouldn't go that far. See a previous blog entry on my attitude towards that.)

I know it's asking a lot of an atheist who works in the newspaper racket, or pop music or doing lab work for some kind of ethology outfit in the North West that they understand something as long as four sentences but there are not only three events BEFORE the universe existed, there are two entire systems of multiple universes with, no doubt, jillions of events happening BEFORE OUR UNIVERSE BEGAN.  And those are only three of the proposals, cosmologists seem to create new scenarios whenever someone questions their currently favorite one.  Not only that but under these desperate attempts to use science to do what science was never equipped to do, kill off God, they must insist that there were universes that began after ours.

As an aside, one of the big brains who didn't quite get that I was pointing out the defects in the idea styles himself "Moe" so I think from now on I'll think of Skepsy, Moe and Simmy as a bottom of the barrel vaudeville act.

As I noted recently, Hugh Everett,  the inventor of the idea of "the multi-verse" and those who believe in his denomination of that faith seriously, assert that every time so much as a florescent light  flickers that new universes are created.  I can't recall which of them came up with the florescent light line, I will, um, "credit" it when I find it.  They are asserting that those universes express every possible alternative event possible must be created whenever anything happens in our universe.

I would like to know how they deal with such issues as how is "an event" defined, how is it extracted from the continuity that is time and existence.  Is there an equivalent to an elementary particle of which "events" are constructed?   Where does the event begin and where does it end so as to have a discrete existence so that its opposite - like an anti-particle(?) - causes its own discrete universe to pop into existence.  I would like to know how, if it can't be turned into a discrete "thing" such an "event" can be plugged into their equations - which is the entire substance of their faith.  And I would love an explanation of the mechanism of such stupendously fecund causation, in our universe, that such science used to care about, causation would seem to have much more modest powers of creating results.

It is not my fault that scientists have allowed a situation to come into being where idiots who believe they are great supporters and champions of science can be so abysmally unaware of what scientists are claiming, resting on their high school and college intro classes taken as requirements from a half-century ago - which they probably squeaked through with a C - and feeling very conceited and arrogant over their credentialed ignorance.  That is what easily 90% of contemporary atheists conceive of as science, if not merely what they've picked up from watching cable TV and, maybe, NOVA.

It is my experience that an informed theist is more likely to have some understanding of what the atheists of cosmology, neuro-sci and the even more obvious current pseudo-scientists are claiming. Of course there are religious people who are as ignorant as your typical blog thread atheist savant, I'm not talking about the bottom of the barrel where that snark came from.

Like it or not, atheists such as Stephen Hawking have claimed the right to write science fiction in equations and to insist that it be considered real because they can make their equations balance.  The extent to which they have to invent stuff to make their equations balance doesn't seem to matter to their fellow atheists in science, though some of them are certainly not happy with the idea that such Lords of Creation don't need to deal with things like observation, actual measurement and generating testable theories.

It might be useful for these guys who create quadrillions of universes our of nothing to consider what they're doing in light of the work of  William Thomson, Lord Kelvin,  I would guess an even more eminent physicist within the science of his time than Hawking is today.   He said:  

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.  

In most of his work, he had a definite "something" that could be observed and assertions about it tested, there was a real thing that he could apply his work in measurement to.   In his extensive work with an idea that couldn't be, the luminiferous aether, he went through all kinds of intellectual gyrations to make all kinds of definite assertions about it, its nature, its amazing properties, and even its measurement.   I am not certain that it was his work on the ather is what led to some attributing the quote to him, in effect "“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”  made before Einstein published his 1905 papers which demolished Kelvin's work with the aether, which is, today, believed to not exist.   From what I gather, it's entire "existence" in 19th century science is due to some physicists believing it was necessary to make their physics and, thus, cosmology come out at a balance.  They may be believed to have been rather quaint, today.  I'm sure anyone proposing to revive the luminferous aether would be considered a quaint eccentric.  But what we're asked to swallow wholesale is an infinitely, literally infinitely, larger and even less evidenced mass of stuff.  


The theistic philosopher, William Lane Craig has pointed out that there is a big problem if these guys want to maintain some of their most cherished physical laws, such as the Laws of Thermodynamics,  If the only universe we know is part of an ensemble of universes extending infinitely into the past then at some point in the infinite past, the whole thing would have had to wind down in heat death or some such eschatological outcome. Our universe would have had to have devolved into a static, lifeless, featureless, oblivion.   Other than to think it's an interesting idea, I can't claim to have gone far into that one.  From what I've heard and read in answer to it, neither have the cosmologists.  

It seems to me they can  claim that the physics of this universe, of which Laws of Thermodynamics are an integral part, is peculiar to our universe and, therefore, their ensemble of universes extending into an infinite past operates under some other law that preempts that impossible hurdle to our existence, but, then, they created their multiverses out of the physical laws of this universe so that would mean any universe or multi-verse calculated out of those expectations is, in fact, illusory.  And if our physics is peculiar to our universe there would be no reason to believe that it had priority over any physics in any other universe or in their imagined ensembles of universes.  In which case many of our theoretical physicists and cosmologists are producing nothing but imaginary stuff out of an assumption that the mathematics that can address the observable universe is capable of creating universes through the balancing of equations.

Since there likely are an infinite number of possible relations among numbers and sets of numbers, that would mean they could create an infinite number of imaginary universes, none of which were any more real than the ones you can make out of words to be published in pulp paperbacks with a lurid and weird, adolescent enticing sexy cover painted by some hack artist.   Which is what I suspect is happening.  They have allowed the habits of theoretical physics, the most esteemed part of physics, to overtake the necessity of science being able to observe what it studies and to test predictions that are made about the things theorists think up.  The habits that arise through an excess of esteem and unknowing respect and power granted through those making people get entirely out of hand is hardly an unknown phenomenon. 

Now, I'm going to go make breakfast. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Rule To Live By

If an idiot and a liar is making fun of what you say, it's a good bet that you're making sense.  That's not an original thought, William Blake also thought so, Listen to the fool’s reproach! it is a kingly title!  Only don't listen too long because it quickly turns into a waste of time.  I wasted a number of years being diverted at a blog that was that kind of lotus land.  I'd say that many still are but it's hardly as many as used to ten years ago. 

Update:  Only an idiot wouldn't realize that an idiot is often a liar but not so often as a liar is also an idiot.  I could name hundreds.  George W. Bush,  Douglas Feith, Sarah Palin, the guy who stalks me, easily a third to a half of the people who frequent said blog. 

Horace Silver Quintet - Nica's Dream

Blue Mitchell, trumpet
Junior Cook, tenor sax
Horace Silver, piano
Gene Taylor, bass
Roy Brooks, drums

Junior Cook Quintet - Sweet Cakes

Blue Mitchell, trumpet
Junior Cook, tenor sax
Dolo Coker, piano
Gene Taylor, bass
Roy Brooks, drums

Another Answer To Another Idiotic Assertion

Atheism, turning people into objects,  is just about always destructive of liberalism, so your claim is as empty as the brain-only nonsense dispelled below. 

There are more problems with that ideological illogic which I'll deal with in the coming weeks. 

Update:  Reading such idiotic comments only makes me regret the hours I wasted on the idea that anything important ever happened on Baby Blue.  Eventually anyone with a mind reaches that point. 

Atheism Requires Miracles And Atheists Like To Call Theirs "Science"

The current atheist-cosmologist ideologues are insisting that the universe can create itself out of nothing BEFORE THE UNIVERSE EXISTED and needing to redefine nothing in order to do it. Stephen Hawkins declarations include both that "nothing" is the law of gravity which would then have had to have existed before the matter that gravity is expressed through existed* and, according to some celebrity cosmologist interpretations that that "nothing" includes the quadrillions and more universes invented by cosmologists.   If you read that link you will note that Michio Kaku kind of gives away the original motive of this stuff.

This gives us a startling picture of the big bang, that our universe was born perhaps from the collision of two universes (the big splat theory), or sprouted from a parent universe, or simply popped into existence out of nothing. [ Which of the three?  Notice that in this game of creating jillions of universes, you're nothing unless you come up with your own denomination of multi-universe or string-M-theory faith.] So universes are being created all the time. (But Hawking goes one step farther and says that therefore here is no need of God, since God is not necessary to create the universe. I wouldn't go that far. See a previous blog entry on my attitude towards that.)

The motive in this, and a rather stunning amount of science, is to try, as the son of Francis Crick put it, "to put the last nail in the coffin of God".   He said that was his father's reason to take up "the hard question" of consciousness, that he believed by coming up with a material explanation of consciousness that he would finally kill off the possibility of believing in God.   Crick's son noted that he and his partner in the effort failed to do so.

A year ago, today, I noted that the atheist's theory of the mind, that it was the epiphenomenon of physical structures required our brains to be doing something similar to what happens in many of the multi-universe fantasies, they would have to create the structures to be ideas before those ideas existed in the skull to tell the brain 

a. that it needed to make a new structure,

b. what that structure needed to be to produce the right idea,

c. how to make that structure to be that idea and not a different structure which would be the wrong idea.  

d. how their proposed process would work in the real time in which we experience thought, with its extremely rapid development of ideas and accounting for the fact that we rapidly and constantly modify ideas, applying them to new contexts, etc. all of which would have to have their own brain-made structures to account for all of those ideas that rush around in our minds.

I will extend those problems with a summary:

Ideas consist of information and under the atheist "brain-only" mind the brain would have to correctly do all of that at the speed of thought WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION IN OUR SKULL INFORMING THE BRAIN OF WHAT TO DO.  

I have been asking those questions here and at other places where atheists congregate for a year and, so far, not a single one of them has done more than incant the words "natural selection" "evolution" "DNA" like the magic charms they are for so many atheists, instead of them having any fixed meaning.   Of course none of those could account for what I asked because any new idea would not have been put in our skulls by any of those, ideas which are entirely original to our species.

The most recent response I've had from someone who wasn't one of the usual, post-literate idiots who troll here was that he didn't have the answer to those questions and that I didn't either (so there!).


Not only that but since the information would have to be present to instruct the brain to make any such structures, that the idea couldn't be reliant on any physical structure that the brain might build but had to exist in the mind, independent of any physical structure built by the brain.

I think the only plausible atheist-materialist work around to this would be the claim that all possible ideas that will eventually exist in the mind would have to already have existed in our skull before we had our ideas and that is as if not more ludicrous than the things that atheist cosmologists have come up with to get round things they don't like because they are afraid people will believe in God.   That would only force the question of what genetic structures there were that could contain that information, I doubt that the entire genome of any individual could account for that amount of information.   The DNA and the associated cellular apparatus would have to have that information in it already and I don't think there is enough matter in them to contain that information.   The idea is ridiculous.   If you have some other means for "DNA" to do it, go ahead, try it, remembering your mechanism would have to work in the real time of our thinking.

If someone arrives at a belief in God because of these observations, that does not a single thing to dispose of any of those questions.  The angry, enraged fear of atheists over this and similar problems with their ideology doesn't change a single thing about the problem being there.  That atheists don't like that doesn't matter a single bit, that doesn't dispose of the problem for their ridiculous and ill considered and ideologically motivated "brain-only" orthodoxy.    I certainly don't mistake this as the "proof of God" I've been accused of mounting,  that so many atheists mistake this exercise of any kind of "proof" merely shows how superficial and shallow their idea of what you have to do to prove something is.  Which could account for why they grasp on to such ideas as "brain-only" and the myriad and self-contradicting schemes of string, M-theory, and multi-universe cosmology like a frightened,abused, tortured lab monkey to a chicken wire and terry cloth mother figure.   I have to ask why they're so afraid of the possibility of God that they'll go to those lengths.   I guess just not believing is no more satisfying to them than it is to anyone else.

* I was told that gravity existed because matter existed, though I'm not interested enough to see how many times they might have changed their mind on that point in the past half-century.   It almost makes you wonder how much they really know about what their terms mean, to start with.

Update:  Apparently this sentence has the brain-only Brain Trusters stumped,

If someone arrives at a belief in God because of these observations, that does not a single thing to dispose of any of those questions.

Apparently it didn't occur to the big-brains of baby blue to read the paragraph it introduces or to discover what observations it refers to.  See what I mean about the post-literacy of the idiots who believe they are the intelligentsia of the modern era?

Update 2:  Why should I restrict myself to sentences that are easy for the Dunc, Tlaz and Simmy set to read?  

Update 3: (Won't make sense to anyone who doesn't know him)  DAS, aka Alberich10,  can do whatever he wants to.  I still go back and look at his old blog once in a while, lots of interesting stuff, wish he'd kept it up.  By the way, I don't think his comment means what you think it does, try reading the first and last words.   Why he still hangs around that meat-head locker, I don't know.  He's old enough to decide for himself.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Horace Silver Quintet - Song For My Father

I'm not sure of who the musicians on this recording are other than Horace Silver.  I think the trumpet is Carmell Jones and the Tenor might be Junior Cook.  I don't recognize the bass player or drummer, though the drummer might be Lex Humphries.  My eyes aren't too good.  According to the notes the musicians in this Copenhagen performance aren't the same as those on the album where this was the title piece, if that's true I'm probably wrong.  I wish they were listed. 

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messangers - Yama

Tenor Saxophone - Wayne Shorter
Trumpet - Lee Morgan
Piano - Bobby Timmons
Bass - Jymie Merritt
Drums - Art Blakey

Bobby Timmons solo on this is one of my favorites, though those of Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter are no less great.  One of those things I've got to watch now often I listen to it because I never want it to stop being fresh. 

Bobby Timmons Trio - Moanin'

Bobby Timmons, piano
Sam Jones, bass
Jimmy Cobb, drums

Dat Dare

Here's One For The Stalker And Duncan's Other Senescent Adolescents - Hate Mail

A Last Issue Of The Challenge To The Brain Dead Brain Only Orthodoxy

Only one more day before I declare materialism has failed, see details here.  

Without Equality Sexual Revolution Only Leads Further Into Oppression

Note;  I wrote this on New Years day 2011, after the criminal complaints in Sweden against Julian Assange were made public.  I'd pointed out in comments that the two women who lodged the complaints had both had consensual sex with him in which there were issues over whether or not he had used condoms as requested or over the not unheard of issue of condom failure.   Lost in the conversation was the fact that neither of the women who agreed to have him come back to their place for sex knew Assange except for the fact that he was a famous political figure.  That such a stupid act as someone inviting a stranger to have sex with them, more than a quarter of a century after the discovery of HIV and centuries after the discovery of other sexually transmitted diseases got no mention shocked me.  I was a lot more naive even that short a time ago,  I still bought the idea that the educated, alleged intelligentsia, especially the alleged liberal intelligentsia,  were a lot smarter than they are.  That delusion was worn away by the internet and online comments.  The line on the graph of that estimate is still in free fall.  Thinking about such things is encouraged to be dangerously and fatally naive.

Imagine you have a gay son. Of course some of you won't have to imagine that because you have a gay son, or, perhaps, a son who is gay and hasn't come out. Imagine your gay son is a teenager or young adult. Immediately, you know that it is very likely that your gay son is going to have sex with other gay men, if not when he's a teenager, when he's an adult. You know about AIDS and HIV, you know that it is spread through unprotected anal sex and you might know that anal sex is among the most common* sexual practices among gay men today. If you are aware of what is known about the transmission of HIV you certainly would want to encourage your son to not engage in unprotected anal sex and, if you are brave enough, you might at least make certain that he is aware of what he needs to know to lessen his chances of becoming infected. That's not easy, even for a gay uncle who is all too well aware of what AIDS is. I know this from personal experience. I would imagine it's harder for most straight parents.

One of the most important realizations about the AIDS epidemic in gay men in the 1980s and 90s was that it was largely a product of the legal oppression of gay men. Gay men hadn't been allowed to marry, they were forced to remain hidden to escape discrimination and violence. That situation prevented many gay men from forming intimate sexual relationships that were ongoing, though some did manage to have them. It also led to the phenomenon of known cruising spots where you could find other men who would have sex with you, strangers who would have sex anonymously and who you might never see again. Those places were everywhere, there were guides published of where to find anonymous sex even in the most surprising rural locations.

Even before AIDS, the practice of casual sex with strangers led to very high rates of venereal diseases among gay men including hepatitis, I remember hearing one gay man assert that having hepatitis was something of a right of passage for gay men. That hepatitis is a seriously dangerous illness, that often leads to cancer of the liver, wasn't taken seriously by a lot of gay men and most other STDs were thought of as being a minor inconvenience. Again, there were and are gay men who don't engage in casual sex with strangers, there are many.

With the identification of AIDS , even before the virus was identified, lessening the impact of the practice of anonymous sex among gay men led to the temporary decrease in new HIV infections, but only after a massive effort to change habits. And that effort was met with strong objection, especially on the part of some of the theorists of gay politics of the 70s. Anything that discouraged gay men from having casual sex with whomever, in whatever way was declared by these thinkers to be internalized oppression. They held that the liberation of sex from love was a major achievement of the gay revolution they imagined they were the bulwark of. They rejected the public health campaign that encouraged condom use and taking measure to protect gay men from the virus, in the early days of the crisis, in the most strident terms. Apparently something called “sex” was, they imagined, separable from the people who participated in it. Which goes as great thinking in some quarters.

When Gloria Steinem said “The sexual revolution was not our war,” it was a brilliant insight. The sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s were mostly for the benefit of straight men, Hugh Hefner's adolescent fantasy life becoming generally available. Without equality, without both political and social equality and the rights that equality is made of, just being able to have sex without social and legal repercussions is bound to result in an extension of oppression. That has been the case extending into history when men were almost always free to rape slaves with impunity, with the approval, explicit or implied, of the law and general society**. I assert that it was also not the revolution that gay men needed either.

The dynamics of freeing sex in a culture of inequality is somewhat harder to see in gay men because even gay men aren't oppressed in the same way and to the extent that women are. But there are inequalities within gay relationships, sometimes economic, sometimes based on differences in intelligence and experience, quite often based on relative psychological vulnerabilities and not infrequently on the basis of differences in physical strength. The variations within any identified group are enough to make any general assertions about the members of that group, increasingly inaccurate.

Some people have noted that the AIDS crisis organized gay men as nothing else ever had. After the idiocy of the fashionable political cant of the 70s was overcome, to some extent, gay communities organized to try to change behavior and stop the transmission of the virus. And that was pretty successful until the idiotic assertion that “AIDS is over” was declared with the availability of drugs to suppress the virus in those who already had it. Though that was a lie, there are about 40,000 new infections in the United States every year, the drugs have major and serious side effects and are expensive and there is no guarantee that the virus won't continue to generate resistant forms that could be even more devastating than the original strains were.

And, as you know, women are infected with HIV through vaginal sex as well as through anal sex by men who are infected. Straight men are often infected through anonymous sex with women or men just as gay men are. I suspect that for many women, who have grown up with the idea that AIDS is primarily a problem for gay men are at the stage gay men were in the early days before the syndrome even had a name.

Of course this is all by way of explanation for my comments on the accusations made about Julian Assange. Being a witness to the deaths of dozens of gay men I knew, knowing that just about all of them with a few exceptions, likely were infected through casual sex with someone they didn't know, knowing that women can be infected by men, all of that informs my thinking on whether or not people should be having casual sex with people they don't know in 2011. And the fact is they shouldn't. Women deserve better than they're going to get from men under those circumstances, men who have sex with men deserve better than they get from it. There is nothing liberated about being infected with HIV or hepatitis or chlamydia or any number of other infections that can injure and kill you. Having sex with someone who can persuade you to engage in sex you don't want or who can trick or force you into it is the opposite of free choice. No more than getting robbed by a conman. And there is no law you can make that will protect you from any of that which is stronger than protecting yourself. And there is nothing that is more likely to protect you than knowing who it is you're agreeing to have sex with.

There is no law that is going to protect you from a good con man who is already in your house or in your bed.

Imagine that these women had sex with a man who was infected with HIV and he was enough of a con artist to convince them to engage in sex without a condom. I would find it hard to believe anyone who doesn't realize that is possible for many if not most women or gay men, especially if they are young and inexperienced. There is no law that is going to protect you from a good con man who is already in your house or in your bed.

I have nieces who I love as well as if they were my daughters, I have nephews who I feel the same way about. I don't want them to have sex with people they don't know because it is dangerous and it leads to a general cheapening of relationships and a decreased respect for other people. I don't want them to grow up feeling coerced into having dangerous and casual sex with people who they have no reason to believe will care about them and have any regard for their well being. The sexual revolution wasn't the right war. The one for equality is. Equality is the supreme political value, with it comes all other rights. Equality is valued less that liberty precisely because it comes with personal obligations to treat other people as you would want to be treated, and more so if you don't think you deserve to be treated well. Only within a culture of the personal restraints required by equality would it be safe to assume that you could engage in casual sex with strangers safely. And even within that, other, culture and with those unavailable assumptions, it would still be risky enough to be unwise if not irresponsible.

* There is a lot of evidence that anal sex wasn't the predominant form of sex among gay men in the United States until the 1970s. There is a large percentage of gay men who don't practice anal sex even today, due to personal preference and in response to HIV. Personally, I didn't and don't and am disgusted at the coercion that gay men often experienced to engage in it has, apparently, become acceptable among young straight people.

** Hagar's treatment in Genesis is pretty standard treatment for slaves. In the story Sarah even suggested it to Abraham as a means of having a son. But the idea that she might have sex with a slave, if it was Abraham who was infertile, doesn't seem to have been seen as an option.

Note: You might want to read this more recent discussion between Gloria Steinem and Suheir Hammad which discusses some of these issues.

Hate Mail - Who Has Money And Who Does Not Is The Key To Understanding How People Really Think When That's Shrouded In Euphemisms

It is rather fascinating how, in these free-speechy, anti-inhibition days that there are strings of euphemisms that one is required to use to cover up the reality of what things really are.   And, gosh, wouldn't you just know it, none of those are as de rigueur as those dealing with the most depraved aspects of sex.   And, no, rape isn't just "a crime of violence" it is a criminal kind of sex.  It is sex as a hate act, it is almost always sex as an act of violent male supremacy, that is as true of gay rape which is, also, a hate act, frequently mixing self-hate with a hatred of the one who can be dominated and harmed for the gratification of the rapist.   So, no more of the bull shit that "rape isn't about sex".  Things can be about more than one thing at the same time.

No, the people who appear in pornography are not "actors" they are not acting.  They're having dirty sex for the titillation and instruction of an audience, most of whom are men and boys who would only find anything like character development, themes and plots got in the way of what they watch it for. The producers and directors and "writers" of porn scripts would probably fire anyone who did any actual acting.

Many of the people you see in porn are forced into it by circumstances, violence or threats of violence, much of what you see on screen and in photos is, actually, rape, the "actors" are rapists and the victim of rape.  That is certainly true of the many freely distributed images online in which the person being raped is clearly underage, it is almost as certainly true of many who are compelled to "act" in them.

In these days when the term "rape" has been redefined to mean that someone who drank too much and made a fool of themselves by consenting to have sex with someone can claim to have been "raped", it is incredible that someone who is compelled by a pimp, a director, a producer or someone else to allow themselves to be violently and painfully used in a porn film out of financial desperation or some other form of  compulsion isn't, automatically, regarded as the victim of rape.  But the opposite is the case and in that I think we can see how the porn industry benefits from the actual attitude towards the victims of porn-prostitution which is mostly a form of rape for profit.

I believe the euphemisms involved are a window into how people really see porn and the people used by it, who are seldom upper class and are certainly not seen as respectable.   If a career woman or college woman drinks too much and makes a fool of herself by waking up to realize she has agreed to have sex with a creep, she is now often allowed to call that rape because she is considered respectable.  If that's to be allowed then certainly what happens regularly in porn is actual rape.  Not infrequently the "actors" in porn movies and photos are led to that form of prostitution through drug addiction or alcoholism or as a result of having been raped and abused in reality instead of current convention.  The difference in the terminology, I will maintain,  is an aspect of class privilege, and since that is inevitably tied to money, it will be twisted to favor those with the most money.   That is the real reason that things have been so twisted in favor of the people who make millions and billions of dollars off of the rape that pornography and prostitution is.  That and their ability to hire high-power lawyers who work in the "free speech" industry and other front men who have plastered their propaganda all over the media going back a century.

Just as pointed out, yesterday, the very people who claim to see porn as totally acceptable would certainly never find it acceptable for their children, their grandchildren, their spouse, their parents, and anyone else who they maintained a loving concern for to take up pornography as a job.  It's OK for other people, not for their people.  So I think the use of euphemisms and the twisting of definitions also expose the hypocrisy of such people who love to think of themselves as pillars of broadminded, enlightened liberality and free-speech, free-press.   In the end, it comes down to the same class distinctions that it always has. And that is mostly about money, who is assumed to have it and who is assumed to not have it.  Who is assumed to have the potential to have it and the respectability that comes with that and who never will as they are destroyed by those industries.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ari Hoenig - Moment's Notice

Ari Hoening, drums
Chris Potter, tenor sax
Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
Matt Penaman, bass
I'll believe that pseudo-liberals and media hacks are really OK with porn-prostitution as a valid career choice when they push to have porn producers and pimps at school career days in the prep schools and elite highschools their families attend so their children and grand-children can get recruited by industries they have no problem with the children of poor people being recruited by.   I'll believe it when I see them encouraged to recruit at the Phillips Andovers and Grotons and U of C Lab School class of schools. 
Go away Stalker Steve, you fatuous phony.  I don't care.  Go back to the Geritol and Stoli set at the  Baby Blue blog and lie to an audience that wants to hear it.  

Update:  I'd tell you what the Eschatots are apparently claiming but it's so stupid as to be boring.   At Duncan's, um, "Brain Trust" they used to say "Smarter trolls, please" now they're too depleted of intelligence to realize they should be saying "Smarter regulars, please".  I don't think they have the collective attention span to muster noticing.  

"Bernie or Bust" Means Bernie Sanders Has Failed To "Move The Discussion To The Left" And The Ivy League Class Of BoBers

The Nation magazine recently had a piece in which four Bernie Sanders supporters said what they would do if their guy didn't get the nomination.   Two said that they would never vote for Hillary Clinton, despite both of them acknowledging that a Republican presidency would almost certainly be worse than what they assume a Clinton administration would be like.

Rania Khalek cited Hillary Clinton's record in the middle East, which is certainly mixed as has been that of even the best American presidents all along.   No one who is going to be an American president is going to do anything but make some bad decisions in the Middle East, it is certain that Barack Obama who has done some horrible things as president did fewer of those than a president McCain (or Palin, lest that possible and horrific present be forgotten) or Romney.  Face it, the Middle East is an ongoing disaster in which the chances of getting it wrong are enormously high.  It is a virtual guarantee that someone will take advantage of any action taken by the American president and do evil with it, the most that can be hoped for is a president who is going to make an effort to do less harm.

The other Bernie or Buster was Doug Henwood, a contributing editor.  His case was as a professional Hillary Hater.  That's not my description, it's his.

I’ve spent much of the last year and a half as a professional anti-Hillaryite for the left. My days are filled with predictable attacks from Clinton supporters, most of whom don’t seem to have read a word I’ve written on the contender from Chappaqua. The attacks broadly fall into two categories. The first involve charges of anti-feminism and misogyny. The mere act of criticizing Hillary Clinton’s political history, her duplicity and penchant for secrecy, and her habit of creating scandals (the inevitable consequence of her duplicity and penchant for secrecy), is an affront to the aspirations of women.

His whine about how he's being persecuted by women and other supporters of Hillary Clinton goes on longer than that.   Here is how he builds up to his lofty declaration of principled stupidity.

Another way of phrasing the Ted Cruz question generally goes like this: “Okay, if you think Hillary is so horrible, whom are you going to vote for?” You can answer by listing all the annoying historical and structural constraints that got us here: our constitutionally mandated form of divided and unrepresentative government, consciously designed to frustrate popular power; the semi-official status of the two-party system; the ever-more-dominant role of money in politics; the gatekeeping function of the media, etc. But that will never satisfy the questioner, who wants a firm answer. The exchange often has the feeling (to paraphrase Theodor Adorno) of a cop asking for your papers. So, officer, here’s my answer: I can, in fact, imagine myself voting for Hillary Clinton—but only if David Brock, her nemesis turned promoter, were holding a gun to my head.

Such are the tergiversations of the professional Bernie or Buster to avoid answering the reality that if it's not going to be Bernie Sanders - as it almost certainly is not going to be - the alternative to Hillary Clinton is almost certainly going to be Trump or Cruz or someone who has slightly more palatable table manners but whose policies will be entirely worse than those which Hillary Clinton will put forward.

Apparently the Bernie or Bust crowd believe that their hero has failed in his quest to "move the discussion to the left" if they don't believe that his, grantedly, impressive caucus victories have had that effect which had been the announced intention.  If they don't believe that they will have an effect on a President Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party then the excuse for mounting these stunt candidacies is a fraud.   I don't think Hillary Clinton is foolish enough to not have learned something about how she would have to govern as president to do better than Barack Obama who didn't learn that lesson.   I suspect, if she's lucky enough to get Democratic control of the House and Senate, Hillary Clinton would understand that to do anything she would have to retain that control by supporting candidates for those bodies in a way that Bernie Sanders, and more so, his campaign managers don't seem to understand at all.

In looking into Henwood's background that allows him to ignore what a Republican president will mean for the country and world so he can preen in his pose of Sandersmanian purity,  he's a product of Yale, I suspect a child of affluence, though I wasn't able to confirm that.   While at Yale he was a conservative, a member of the Yalie "Party of the Right" who went on to work on Wall Street for a while  Eventually he went over to the left.   He is married to another professional Hillary Hater, Liza Featherstone, (a Columbia product) both of them have authored recent Hillary bashing books, his,  My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency;  hers, False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Both have lurid images of Hillary Clinton on the cover.   Henwood's has a hideous drawing of her pointing a gun at you, things like you used to see on right-wing hit pieces in the 1990s, like something that David Brock wrote before he left the Republican-fascist right for where he is attacked by such play-leftists as Henwood.   Obviously, Henwood lacked the practical educational opportunity that a deluded young gay man could face in forcing that conversion.  I don't know why he changed but, given his present position, I doubt it was based in a practical consideration of what could be done in the reality we face.   Featherstone may have always been leftish, I wasn't able to find as much detail on her.

I don't know what the combined income of the Henwood-Featherstone household is but I am skeptical that it falls far into the middle-class range.  I would like to know how much they would be impacted by a Cruz presidency, since that's the possibility that Henwood thinks is worth enduring so he can maintain his pose of leftish purity.    I don't know many people who fall into that wealth bracket.  I can say that anyone who would want to risk it on behalf of poor folk here, the working poor, the destitute from a relatively affluent life is a jerk.

No, I Feel No Shame From Asking Them To Put Their Loved Ones On The Line They're Willing To Put The Loved Ones Of Poor People On

No, I don't feel ashamed with getting in the faces of people who claim that porn is just another job - oh, no, wait, they'd present it as a career, which they in their alleged and magnanimous and brilliant liberality hold, on principle, no less, to be fully worthy of our support.

What they really mean is it's  OK for such people who are driven into it by financial desperation, drug addiction, alcoholism, or some kind of mental illness and an internalized hatred of themselves, their own sexuality and an instilled conviction of their own worthlessness.   Lessons they may well have learned from viewing porn which is all about instilling such messages.  And those who are forced into it by pimps or other modern slave holders and, yes, parents.  What most of such pseudo-liberals mean is it's all right by them if people without their resources, money, family, educations, REAL CAREERS are used by the multi-billion dollar porn-prostitution industry, are destroyed by it.

I have no problem getting into the faces of such phony liberals in terms of their nearest and dearest, their children, their spouses, their parents, their grandchildren, their siblings.   If they aren't 100% AOK with THEIR people being chewed up and destroyed by the pornography they champion what they really mean is that they are just fine with other peoples children, spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, usually poor peoples lives and bodies being destroyed by a multi-billion dollar industry. Such is the quality of such "liberalism".  Such is the "liberalism" that has destroyed the credibility of real liberalism.

If they were really OK with porn, they'd feel no revulsion or anger at being asked who in their family they'd be OK with being recruited by the porn industry, they would have no problem with that or with the job description that goes with their pseudo-liberal pose which is as phony as the rest of their lying line about those issues.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hate Update

"if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you" 

Well, yeah, I have looked at the shallow vacuum of your mind and you're still stalking me.  But you fit right in at the no longer so vast waste land of Eschaton. 

Admit it, no one there is as interesting as I am, that's why you keep coming back for more.  

Update:  Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. 
Maybe Duncan doesn't mind having a sleazy, creepy stalker like you around because that's how he got his big... well, the start he got, he stalked people like Katha Pollitt and wrote about it.  

By the way, you might want to all get together and save his Wikipedia posting, it's got a warning notice on it.
 The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guideline for biographies. Please help to establish notability by citing reliable secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it beyond its mere trivial mention. If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or deleted.
Find sources: "Atrios" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR · free images
 (January 2015)

Update 3:  I'm told that Stalker Geezer is now entertaining the Eschatots with lies alleging that I dissed his ailing girlfriend.  Needless to say the rubes are sucking it up as only the tots will.   

Eschaton is a blog that should have gone out at its high point in 2006.   It's been downhill from there. 

Update 4:  The Geezer Stalker is doubling down on it, now.   Such is the rump remnant of what was once considered a prominent blog a decade ago. 

Update 5:  Why shouldn't I hold Duncan responsible for it? He's been sponsoring this libel and stalking of me for the past four years, he certainly knew about it from the start.  He's banned people for a lot less than Stalker guy has done, I'm not the only one he does it to.  I can only conclude that Duncan's OK with it.   Look at the link above, he wanted to hold Katha Pollitt responsible for decisions made by the publisher and editor of The Nation when she was only a columnist for it.   If he wants it to stop he knows how to stop it. 

Jonathan Kreisberg Group - Twenty-One

Jonathan Kreisberg - Guitar
Will Vinson - Alto Saxophone
Gary Versace - Piano
Joe Martin - Bass
Mark Ferber - Drums

Dr Lonnie Smith,  Martijn Vink & Martijn van Iterson -  Favorite Things 

Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hammond B3
Martijn van Iterson, guitar
Martijn Vink, drums

Julie Andrews never dreamed these places existed.

Here's a Thought

The Republicans don't confirm Merrick Garland and Hillary Clinton wins in a landslide against Trump or Cruz, Democrats take the Senate and the House as in 2008.  

She nominates Anita Hill to the Supreme Court and she's confirmed.  

Hey, I can dream, can't I? 

Mary Lou Williams - Mary's Waltz

"Why did you put the word "actors" in parentheses?

Because I'm opposed to any euphemistic device that lies and covers up the real nature of pornography.  I won't lie about what it really is, filmed prostitution often filmed rape.  Such people aren't "actors" they are rapists and the victims of rapists.  It's just a different part of the industry that turns people into objects for use and by those who can use them.   I don't care if that offends your phony sense of propriety about it.   I don't owe you a lie. I certainly don't owe one to the porn industry that invented that usage.   Apparently lots of people on the play-left figure they're OK with that lie. 

Update:  "Purity troll"

If you mean someone who is against the depicted, filmed and photographed rape of children, the abuse and degradation and torture of gay boys and men by "alpha males" etc.  You don't have to be pure as the driven snow to see that that's depraved and should be stopped, you just have to not be a totally self-centered asshole. 

Update 2:  I'm not under any obligation to give these jerks who volunteer to give me content a fair hearing.  It's my blog,  if they want to provide me with content I'm within my rights to use it on my terms, not theirs.  

Update 3:  Of course I know they're called "quotes" that was how the question was asked.  They didn't ask me for a lesson in punctuation. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm Being Lectured By A Straight White Man On Gay Rights

I am familiar with that particular porn site, I've seen what they sell.   It has done more to spread internalized hatred of gay men among us than the idiots in the North Carolina legislature have with their silly wedding cake law which I doubt will stand judicial review if it makes it to the court as it is today.  Try as they might the Republicanfascists who are trying to ride to electoral success on the reaction to marriage equality can't do worse to us than the porn industry does.  The worst form of hatred of LGBT people is that which is internalized by us, it is the most destructive form of hatred of us and it is taught primarily by pornography, these days.   And that hatred is hardly the only way that porn destroys people.

I looked at your exchange at Duncan's Dunces, you and Hecate.    I've got no respect for upper middle-class so-called feminists who are OK with the use of the class of women, men and children used and used up by the porn industry before they are spit out by that multi-billion dollar leviathan.  

I'd like to ask her which of her family, her son, her grandson, her female relations would she be OK with being recruited by the porn industry to be penetrated by whatever men - usually without condoms - men who have penetrated many others before a producer and director told them to penetrate her loved one.   As I recall, that particular site carries videos of Clint Lockner,  who died of AIDS in 1993, and certainly other porn actors who contracted HIV, hepatitis-C and other strains of it and a host of other deadly and potentially deadly, as well as debilitating diseases on the set, and who spread them to other "actors" on set.  The porn industry still trades in the videos and images of "actors" who long ago died as a result of making the porn that you guys champion. 

And that's just in straight up porn, it doesn't go into the sadistic abuse of bottoms by tops, the predominant theme in porn,  torture, degradation, humiliation, rape... I wonder which of her relations she'd like to be told to open their mouth so the "alpha man" can spit into it or worse, one of the current trending themes in gay porn, or which one she'd like to be told to rim someone. 

I'll bet she never even thought of it in those terms, before.  Just as you never did before I posed that question to you.  I use the term "thought" very loosely, in your case.  Of course, you lied about it, knowing that no one you were involved with or cared about - assuming such people exist - would ever work in porn.

It's so easy for people who aren't in the class from which most of the victims of pornography are recruited to blithely ignore what it really is.   While I don't expect some superficial straight white asshole like you to care about those people, feminists are supposed to.  

Any porn site that peddles the abuse and hatred of gay men and boys as sexually arousing is just putting up a false front if they pose as a being interested in the rights of gay people.   It's phonier than the idea that Bob Guccione was a supporter of women's rights.  He was the pornographer who funded the invention of "sex pos" "feminism".  

I looked into the reality of porn, H. obviously hasn't.  To her it's a topic from her legal education and an issue to preen in her alleged liberality over, not a real reality which, with the lessons of hatred, abuse, degradation.... and everything up to and including death as a result of having sex for the camera is very, very real, in fact.   You can tell her I said that, too.  I'd like to see her response. 

Update:  Now said asshole is using the "you're the one looking at dirty pictures" defense of porn.  As if someone could know what it was unless they saw it.  And he's an alleged journalist, though I have every confidence that he's the kind of journalist who wrote about things he never looked at or read.

Try again, I'm not going to fall for that catch 22 defense of porn.  

Update 2:  Well, my mind about such things was changed by my seeing young men in their thirties covered by Karposi sarcoma lesions and a quite brilliant young man of my a aquaintance having his brain destroyed by a rare tubercular lesion that, when it killed him was listed as "complications of AIDS".  Experiences like those.  I watched dozens of men I knew die as a direct result of anal sex which was rather rare in the 1960s but which was promoted as "the real gay sex" by the porn industry back in the paper and celluloid days.   You ever seen what Karposi sarcoma looks like?  Here, look at this.  Believe me when I tell you that in real life, this doesn't begin to approach what seeing someone you know with it does to you.   There isn't any picture I can show you to represent watching my friend's brain being eaten away.   You had to be there for that one. 

Which one of your loved ones are you OK with being exposed to that by the porn industry?   Not to mention whatever newer virus is given a boost by the kind of sexual behavior that porn promotes. 

Jonathan Kreisberg Trio - Countdown

Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
Johannes Weidenmuller, bass
Ari Hoenig, drums

It's interesting to hear this at this tempo.  Offhand, I don't remember hearing anyone play it but John Coltrane and his ensemble.

Five Bucks A Bungalow Live in Germany

Jonathan Kreisberg - Guitar
Will Vinson - Alto Sax
Gary Versace - Piano, Organ
Joe Martin - Bass

Mark Ferber - Drums

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio Live at Kente Arts Alliance

Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hammond B3 organ
Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
Kendrick Scott, drums

Jonathan Kreisberg Group - The South Of Everywhere

Jonathan Kreisberg, Guitar
Will Vinson, Alto Saxophone
Gary Versace, Piano
Joe Martin, Bass

Mark Ferber, Drums

The Suppression Of Clearly Bigoted Words Is A Necessary Step

Note:  I wrote this shortly before the election in 2008, it was inspired by the rampant misogyny from many of the true-believing Obama supporters in the nomination fight between him and Hillary Clinton.

I'm hearing variations on the stuff I heard said about her that I heard about her then, on Eschaton, Digby's blog, at Salon, at various other blogs and webzines' comment threads and, at times, in posts by the owners of them.   While I didn't think Barack Obama was base enough or foolish enough to encourage that, I don't think everyone in his campaign was averse to encouraging it.   I am certain that it is present in the nomination fight between her and Bernie Sanders, though, again, I mostly credit the candidates with more maturity than their staffs and fans.  I will say I've seen nothing similar from Hillary Clinton or her side who are generally far more mature than many of those who seem to want to turn Sanders into a cult figure.  I can guarantee you, what we're hearing now is NOTHING compared to what the Republicans will bring out if she is the nominee.   So, I figure I'll repeat what I said then, now.

As entire classes of people are still subjected to destructive inequality and the protest against that inequality has been made to seem passé, the far easier to assert equality of words seems to have become entrenched as an assumption. This is, to not mince words, stupid.

Words aren’t enumerated as a class having rights under the Bill of Rights, The Civil Rights amendments or the Civil Rights Act, they are not all created equal. They are not all “perfectly good words”. Some of them should be suppressed. Some should be hunted to extinction, remaining only as mounted, academic specimens.

Achieving the suppression of the language of bigotry is straight forward, you suppress it. You make the use of the words uncomfortable and an invitation to be hassled. For example, the blog boys use the word “cunt”. The way to make them uncomfortable is to constantly call them on it when they use it. It’s simple as that. They refer to women in that way, you make that uncomfortable for them, you harass them whenever they say it. You make it not worth their wile to use the word. When they whine about your calling them on it, you just do it anyway. They pout about you ruining their fun and boy bonding, you ignore it and keep calling them on it while taking pleasure at their discomfort. Their discomfort is a sign your plan is working, I see nothing wrong with enjoying it, privately. Of course, you've got to give up using language like that yourself, you've got to have credibility.

Whenever you propose something like this you can count on two things happening. The first is the invocation of “freedom of speech” or “The First Amendment”. I’m happy to report to you that we are not bound in our personal lives to uphold the “speech rights” of bigots. As I never tire of pointing out, we are not the government. You’d think the left has been out of power long enough to not suffer from that mistaken idea. If a commercial establishment can suppress the use of profane language on its property, individual people certainly have that right in the common ground of life. Those we target for this kind of coercion have no recourse to constitutional relief from us. When it comes to bigots, it’s a mistake to worry about their right to promote the violation of other peoples’ rights. Let them do the worrying. And it gets better, there is no reason for us to treat bigotry as equal to other modes of human interaction. It intentionally hurts people, it has no rightful place in the world. And, let it not be forgotten, strident objection to hateful words is just as much an expression as bigotry, only it doesn’t try to harm entire groups of people on the basis of who they are.

The second thing brought up is whether or not it is the most important issue, the matter of priorities. Who knows what’s “most important”? This election season has certainly shown that it isn’t a little problem, IT HURTS MEMBERS OF OUR CAUCUS. If the protection from harm to our members isn’t a priority for us then we’ve got to rearrange our priorities. It also divides the left, it harms our efforts to make progress. This is a big deal, as well, because it prevents other important things from happening. This is a fact to use against blog bigots as well. Calling Ann Coulter sexist names doesn’t hurt her but it hurts her opposition which then has to deal with the division of the left due to the childishness of these jerks. It’s not as if we’ve got a rip roaring huge majority to work with as it is and can spare the members or time spent trying to patch things up. If anyone wants to be on the left, the minimal requirement is that they not divide and distract those who are doing the real work and so enable our opponents. If they choose to run their mouths at our expense, kick them out. It’s not as if the Coulters of the world aren’t vulnerable onhg the basis of things they say, themselves, many of those on the grounds of bigotry. Being a bigot in response weakens your position against someone like her.

Those words and similar ones shouldn’t be tolerated no matter what comedian or pop star has used them in their act, no matter how gratifyingly transgressive they make the user feel. People using them have to be made to feel too hot to mistake it as ‘cool’. The soft-handed, man-talkin’, tough guys who, in reality, risk nothing in life more serious than repetitive stress should be derided and made to feel the fools they are.

Not using those words is a part of removing bad habits of thinking from the common discourse. If I was planning a strategy I’d say go after the clear cut offenses first, the easiest ones to target. Just getting rid of those annoyances would be worth the effort, I’d think. I don’t want people thinking in those terms and I do think that is important. I don’t think pay equity or Title Nine or the equal right to public accommodation would have ever become law if those terms were an acceptable default way to think about the covered classes in the voting public. It was certainly no coincidence that gay rights legislation finally started making it out of committees as it became less acceptable to target us with bigoted language and that those reforms fail in those places where verbal gay bashing is still tolerated It really matters.

I have never been much on adopting the language of the enemy. I never believed that it would subvert the intentions of the ones who really meant it. You can’t redeem a term of hatred in common use by using it yourself, you can’t capture it and change its meaning. Words obtain their meaning by their history and their contemporary common use. Words of bigotry are defined by bigots who use them. No matter what the language-pop-sci folk would lead you to believe.

The use of bigotry in “comedy” isn’t funny, even when used by otherwise funny comedians. Though it will get you a cheap laugh from other schmucks. Hearing bigotry freely expressed makes it seem acceptable and it influences the thinking of those who might go either way. It gives permission.

It certainly snowballed on the blogs of the left in ways I’d never have believed before last year. It was a real shock that even anti-gay invective is less accepted than the most revolting terms of misogyny. But I’ve also seen real racism, religious bigotry, ethnic bigotry and other forms of expression destructive of the effort to promote real equality and freedom. It all has to be called, it’s not as if we don’t have real ideas and problems that need to be addressed. Making all forms of bigotry out of bounds is helpful to making any form of bigotry unacceptable. The partial acceptance of bigotry is a stupid blunder.

I am just about certain that the real names of the ideals of liberalism, freedom, equality, yes, especially, love, would be considered more outré than the words of real, explicit, misogyny on some blogs of the left. And racism on others, While that might be due to their overuse in some rather gooey contexts, their intrinsically negative context doesn’t seem to have rendered the hateful words unfashionable in the same way. Though they’ve certainly gotten old.

It is one of the more irrational aspects of this that those words, the sure sign of childish, lazy thinking, are, somehow, mistaken to be a sign of adulthood. I don't know what you can do about that except to refuse to go along with that stupid idea.

So feel free to be inventive, be clever, be scathing in your suppression of the “c” word and others worthy of destruction. If you don't like it, you have every right to say so. And do it every time.

Addendum: There is a third thing that can happen in this kind of effort.

I firmly suspect that there is a constant temptation in people to be as bad as they figure they can get away with, though some people regularly seem to be able to resist. This effort can’t be seen as a license to do another stupid, divisive and time wasting* thing, inventing convenient, imaginary implied slights.

In our pop-psych addled age, the temptation of those on the losing end of an argument is sometimes to go from what’s explicitly stated to conveniently asserting things like “body language” and “unconscious intentions”, which aren’t stated explicitly. Usually it is the minutia of nuance beloved of some leftists that elicits that response rather than in the important, commonly agreed to, difference. Occult, interior motives are asserted to be the unseen taint, the mark of the bad seed, in otherwise sound leftists, asserting their otherwise reasoned arguments to be functionally unsound for the vaguest of reasons. I’d say that splitting those hairs should wait until the explicit expression of bigotry is effectively eliminated. That’s going to be a big enough job to start with. Effectively targeting those who are explicit bigots might help to eliminate those in the second tier of bigoted expression without spending time on them.

As anyone who has ever played cards knows, it’s a hallmark of the unexpressed idea that you really don’t know what it might mean or even if it’s there to begin with. Maybe it exists only in your imagination. If it’s really there it will find explicit expression, if it doesn’t you are free to assume that the interpretation more favorable to you is what was intended all along and to act accordingly. I’ve found that assuming that sometimes has the gratifying result of avoiding a pointless argument and sometimes actually turns things in a more productive direction than angry confrontation over the imagined slight. On many occasions, when the assumed interior intention becomes clear, it was quite harmless anyway.

* I’ve noticed in meetings of non-profits something like this often takes the form of “not wanting to set a precedent”. Who hasn’t sat though twenty-five minute of loftily vicious and absurd argument about just such a “precedent” issue? Well, unless explicitly stated, non-profits can pick and choose on the basis of individual merits and their own contemporary situation without worrying about precedents of that kind. I’ve never yet seen the bylaws of one that forbids that.

A Powerful Piece On What Happend When Abortion Was Not Safe, Legal or Rare

It is too bad that the faux "front page" from the Trump era future got more exposure in the news than another item in the editorial section of the Boston Globe because there was an extremely powerful piece on the issue of abortion,  Not Safe, Not Legal, Not Rare, which consisted mainly of clips from the past going back to 1872 detailing the deaths of women from illegally performed abortions, of women injured by illegal abortions and attempted abortions, the horrific conditions under which abortions were done by the trade in it that went on under the nose of authorities during the entire period that abortion was banned and the people who were arrested for obtaining an abortion.

Among the clippings is one about 1782 doctors protesting the closing of birth control clinics in 1937, it's not unlikely that the closure of the clinics led to more abortions than are mentioned in the other clippings.  The only way to prevent abortions is to do everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancies, abortion was never stopped by the laws banning them, it would be, if anything, even worse now.  19th century law with 21st century mores would lead to a huge market in illegal abortion,  organized crime would certainly become the biggest providers of it as they have been when alcohol was banned.   It is a scandal that Americans have been kept in such ignorance of how to avoid becoming pregnant, have been propagandized out of taking responsibility for preventing pregnancy - both men and women - that we have an abortion rate that is so high as compared to other, often less affluent, countries.   If you want to know why there are so many abortions, that is the reason, not that the ones that are done are done under competent medical supervision.

I don't have an problem with anti-abortion people trying to talk women out of having abortions, as long as they don't violate the rights of patients and they are kept well away from clinics and other places where legal abortions are performed.  The record of violence by the anti-abortion groups means that they should not be allowed to mob clinics and accost the people who are entering or leaving them.  If the Supreme Court justices had to walk such a gauntlet such as those they permit they would never have allowed them to continue.   I don't have any problem with factual TV or radio spots or pamphlets.  I disagree, entirely, with the idea that the state has the right to regulate what a woman chooses to do within her own body, the state's legitimate interest decreases to zero at the boundary of our skin but I have no argument to make against factual attempts to persuade women against choosing to have an abortion.

If I had a choice, no one would ever face the need of having an abortion but that isn't my choice.  Nor is it really my business.

The best way to stop abortions is to give people the knowledge and the means to prevent pregnancies that are unwanted or unhealthy and to do a far more effective job of preventing rape and incest.  If there is something that is clearly the prerogative of the state, it is in preventing men from raping women and children.  You have to wonder why states that do so little where it's their clear mandate to act in the interest of women and children insist on doing what is so clearly none of their business. But such is the politics of abortion.

Donald Trump Would Never Really Try To Revise The Present Libel Laws Which Have Made Him What He Is

You've probably heard about the imagined front page of the Boston Globe a year from yesterday if Donald Trump wins.  You can see it here, if you haven't seen it yet.  I would quibble with one item, the story prominently displayed below the fold about Trump's revision to libel law.  That is one I can guarantee you will never happen.  If such a law were passed one of the biggest targets of it would be Donald Trump whose political career depends on lying about people, such a law would see him in court continually and if judges forced him to pay costs for those that he might bring under such a law, I can imagine it eating up his entire wealth.   There is no way a Republican congress would pass such a revision to the law because their hold on the congress would, as well, depend on lies such as those protected by present law.

But, other than that, the Boston Globe "front page" is good.   I wish they'd do one for President Cruz who, I fear, would be far worse than Trump.   In fact that is mentioned in the editorial demanding that Trump be stopped on the other side of that page.  The idea, though that a president Romney or, Lord help us, Paul Ryan is a better idea, as asserted in that editorial, is deluded.  The Trump and Cruz campaigns are the product of what the Republican establishment has been building to in the past half century.

More so, it is what the corporate media, most of it owned by establishment Republicans has been building to.   That establishment media, set free from requirements to not libel people by the courts, relieved from the Fairness Doctrine, equal time provisions, public service, etc.  has constructed the part of the population which now yearns for a fascist strong man to the extent that we are, seriously, in danger of having one next year.   They built that faction of the electorate, lie after lie, paranoid delusion after paranoid delusion, decades of race baiting, of lying about ethnic groups and the very liberals who so stupidly gave them the freedom to lie with impunity.

Donald Trump is the leading beneficiary of the regime of lying that rules our politics.  He might not realize that but it is, in fact, the only reason that he has the current lead in the Republican nomination race.  A president Trump would use massive lying as a political tool, just as the line of Republican presidents from Nixon through Bush II did and they will also depend on the lying media to amplify and add to their lies for their benefit.

The media is paranoid about that one line of Trump which will not become a law under Trump or any other Republican president or congress because they and their 1% patrons are the major beneficiaries of the legalization of lying.   The media would do a lot better if it spent any time fretting about that in fact checking their stories and imposing the rules of journalism on its "opinion" journalists.  If they told the truth they'd have nothing to worry about.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio - For Heaven's Sake

Dr. Lonnie Smith,Hammond B3 organ
Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
I think it's Johnathan Blake playing drums but I can't tell.

Jonathan Kreisberg Trio - From The Ashes 

Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar
Rick Rosato, bass
Colin Stranahan, drums

Carla Bley & Steve Swallow - Soon I Will Be Done With The Troubles Of The World


This episode of On Being with Ellen Davis and Wendell Berry is a good way to spend an hour.

Here is the transcript.  

Here is a passage that couldn't be more important. 

MS. TIPPETT: So, you know what I thought would be interesting for us to do is just pick up Genesis. I have the Tanakh, the Jewish Publication Society Bible, in front of me, and I have Everett Fox's Five Books of Moses, which is a translation, and it's very close to the Hebrew.

PROF. DAVIS: Yes. Yeah.

MS. TIPPETT: And not necessarily as linear. It doesn't necessarily read in a smooth way in English but, as you've said it, it makes the Hebrew more transparent, including rhythms and allusions. And so with agrarian eyes, you know, what do you see when you open Genesis 1?

PROF. DAVIS: Well, the first thing that stands out is that the rhythm of the passage changes when we get to the creation of the dry land on the fifth day. That up until that point — actually, I think the dry land is created a little bit sooner than the fifth day, but it begins to be furnished for habitation on the fifth day — and up until that point, Genesis 1 is really very terse. "Let there be light: And there was light" "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters … and it was so." But then, when the dry land begins to be furnished for habitation, suddenly there is blessing enters the world. So the creatures are blessed. And of course, we know human beings are blessed on the sixth day, but we often overlook the fact that the creatures of sky and sea receive exactly the same blessing, pru u'revu, "be fruitful and multiply." And so we are living amongst creatures who are blessed before we even come into existence. I think that's an important thing to recognize.

MS. TIPPETT: Now let's just, you know, point out that I think the passage, if people know something from this, it is this blessing that also seems to contain not just permission but a commandment to — you know, the words, the translation's different: "to have dominion," Tanakh says "to master it," "to rule the fish of the sea." So you're saying that that's tempered first of all by the context. But, you know, how do you step back from that and what do you see is happening there that is not clear in the way we have translated and used these texts?

PROF. DAVIS: OK. The Hebrew word is a strong word, and I render it "exercise skilled mastery amongst the creatures" because I think the notion of skilled mastery suggests something like a craft, an art, of being human without taking away the fact that humans do, from the perspective of almost all the biblical writers — not every single one but almost all — humans occupy a very special place of power and privilege and responsibility in the world. But the condition for our exercise of skilled mastery is set by the prior blessing of the creatures of sea and sky that they are to be fruitful and multiply. So whatever it means for us to exercise skilled mastery, it cannot undo that prior blessing. I think that's pretty convicting for us in the sixth great age of species extinction.

I wish there were a bit more Wendell Berry in the program but it's got to fit into its time limits.