Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mary Lou Williams - Tisherome

As far as I can tell this is from sometime in the 1940s.  Mary Lou Williams participated in just about every development in jazz during her half a century career, mastering different techniques,  participating in creating new textures and harmonies.  There's a reason she was so well respected among her colleagues.  

Why Bernie Sanders is Actually Winning

This was posted earlier by June Butler of Wounded Bird.  It's exactly the kind of stuff I'm reading all over the place and a lot of the people saying it aren't college age anymore.

Update:  Oooh, I'm being threatened.  Let's see what you can do Stupy Stales. 

Update 2:  Well, I'll certainly know who to attribute it to.  

Forgot My Own Anniversary

Yesterday it was exactly ten years since I published my first blog post.   I made some statements of intention in that first post which I think I've fulfilled to an extent, though I am a much different person today than I was then.   That first post is reposted below.  Ten years of researching and writing about what the left has been doing wrong has resulted in me becoming far more radical than I was when I started.  More radical because I came to understand why real liberalism is really important and why it is incompatible with what has become misidentified as liberalism and radicalism.

One of the early changes was a result of asking why politics matter, why liberal politics was important.   I'd have called my politics "leftist politics" back then.   I didn't yet appreciate the complete difference in the two things called "liberalism" the traditional American meaning of the word, based in religion and the 18th century "enlightenment", quite different meaning of the word.  And I didn't understand that the traditional American meaning of the word was about making the real lives of everyone good on an equal basis and so was far more radical than the reality of Marxism or the other ideologies denominated "leftist".

It was the great mistake of traditional American liberalism that it got involved with such things or that it had a need to defend the rights of Marxists.  Marxism will never produce sustainable political institutions, it has failed that test of time repeatedly in the 20th century, it can't even sustain socialism.  Socialism can only be started and  sustained by egalitarian democratic politics.

Marxism, either covert or daring to speak its own name, is deader than dead, except in the minds and writing of academics who are reality averse.  You'll find that quite well represented in the program for the upcoming Left Forum but nowhere in real life, not even in the most Communist of all Communist countries remaining from that most horrific and tragic series of tests of time.   It is the enduring delusion of so many on the left that Americans able to look at those experimental results would ever tolerate it here.  As to confirm that, look at how Russians, the society with the longest record of experimental trials of communism has gone for a classic fascist strongman as the former communist elite take up organized crime.

No, the future of any viable and real left in the United States won't be based in Marxism, it won't come from academic atheism, it certainly won't come from the pseudo-leftist, liberalish, entertainment media based libertarianism which is just another form of conservatism.   The "enlightenment", pseudo-scientific, atheistic 18th century liberalism was never much different from "enlightenment" conservatism, what is generally termed "economic conservatism" "constitutional originalism" and the such.  They were not different in any radical or fundamental way, they are just divergent ideologies that lead to the same place, inequality, a demotion of the regard for life, a superficial and amorphously amoral, materialistic existence without any transcendent meaning or value.

That was what I needed to unlearn in order to understand how liberalism went wrong, why it couldn't even put its best ideas and understanding into law, why it couldn't even win elections.  The liberalish libertarians who have been in effective control of "the left" have pushed ideological positions and slogans that have been self-defeating.  I was beginning to understand that ten years ago, I wasn't ready to admit as to how much of the culture of  the left was involved in that self-defeating program.

Another thing I had to learn was, as such atheists as Jurgen Habermas and Noam Chomsky have had to admit, "The Gospel is radical."  It, understood along with The Law and the Prophets, is the most promising basis for any viable American liberalism.  I would say that no ideology, no philosophy, no system that doesn't share the morality of those will produce egalitarian democracy anywhere under any other name.  If it can be done under Islam, under Buddhism, under the non-caste ridden Hinduism, I don't know.  That's for other people to try to figure out.  I only know that it is the most likely means of reviving democracy in the United States.   American Christianity, the real thing, not the modern day Roman Imperial religion, complete with homicidal games and imperial conquest and sanctified prostitution as religious acts, is in as much need of renewal as American liberalism. 

Saturday, May 13, 2006

To start with, there are two things about the Code of Liberal Ethics that bother me. One, that we are supposed to be entirely fair to everyone and especially in instances when that would put us at a disadvantage, will be dealt with later. The one I will deal with first is the assumption that liberals must get it right every time, not only right but correct. That liberals and leftists, such as myself, must be purer than pure or relegated to the tip, is something I'd better address right now in this first post.

I have no intention of getting it right every time. I begin with no expectation of getting it entirely right a plurality of the time. No guarantee of such is given or offered. I will not allow considerations of the possibility of failure from keeping me from action. On occasion I'll plow straight ahead if conditions seem to warrant it. I, friends, am the thoroughly bad sort and claim as mine, as the sacred possession of every liberal and leftist, the absolute right enjoyed by the rest of humanity to get it wrong. And not only this but I claim as the birthright of leftists to present our side of things to the advantage of our side. I have absolutely no intention to be fair to fascists either, but that's for another day and I hope that Nat Hentoff doesn't die before I get to it.

The Code of Liberal Ethics is a standard operating setting required in every organ of the media. It is applied without consideration, without thought, as a matter of habit. It is a solid state component of the minds of far too many liberals. It is a weapon used exclusively against liberals and leftists and is applied to no other segment of the political spectrum. Everyone, from mushy moderate to rabid fascist is allowed their failings and their biases. But not liberals. Certainly not leftists.

No more. Here, today, I issue our own manumission, my fellow leftists. We have shaken off the chains of perfection, we are free of the lash of faultlessness. We claim our right to consider our own opinions superior and worthy of dominance. Never again will we present the arguments of conservatives as if they merit equal treatment. We will scorn their folly and expose their lies and their entertaining hypocrisies without apology. We will get off our knees and kick every fascist where it counts. In all seriousness, our lives, the lives of our loved ones, the life of the biosphere absolutely depend on it. We must crush out of ourselves and our kind the remains of these mind forged manacles and wipe their residue from every voice and their assumed existence from every ban. Friends, we have nothing to fear. We are free.

Disclaimer: I make no pretense of being a journalist. At best, if someone wanted to insult me, they might claim me as a columnist, an unskilled occupation of which I do not claim to be a part. I would never want anyone to assume that I pretend to be a real journalist, a reporter.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mary Lou Williams' Girl Stars - Boogie Misterioso

Mary Lou Williams, piano
Mary Osborne, guitar,
Marjorie Hyams, vibes
Rose Gottesman, drums
June Rotenberg, bass

Update:  Conversation 

Update 2:   Waltz Boogie

Mary Lou Williams, piano
Bridget O'Flynn, drums
June Rothenberg, bass

Gildas Boclé Trio

Jean Baptiste Boclé vibes etc
Manhu Roche dms
Gildas Boclé, bass

I don't know what the piece is and it's not listed.  Gildas Boclé is one of my favorite bass players and the other two are pretty good too.  His brother is quite good on both keyboards and vibes.

Dream Punk - You Can Add Huffington Post To The List Of Those Trying To Get Trump Elected

HuffPo has a piece up "Plot Twist: The Democratic Convention Will Be Contested, Sanders Can Win the Nomination" by  Brian Hanley , billed as "a political reporter covering the Bernie Sanders campaign. He's committed to telling a side of the story that the corporate media won't." and who from the little I can find out about him seems to specialize in making things like anti-Clinton rap Youtubes which are about as juvenile as you might expect.  

The strategy, the "plot twist" would seem to revolve around flipping those super-delegates who Sanders and his supporters seem to have every possible position on, depending on how they want to spin "the plot".   That's the thing about make-believe as opposed to reality, things can be whatever you want them to be as is convenient.   It's what I hate so much about steam punk.  It's bad enough in third rate fiction, bringing it into real politics is grotesque.   

Leftist Media Has Been Childishly Irresponsible For Another Presidential Cycle - Hate Mail

I didn't suggest that the magazines of the left fold and go out of business, I said that they were dangerously irresponsible and had been over and over again, especially during election years.   Though if they did all go under I wonder if the effects in politics would be noticeable in anything but a loss of citations on the web for some of the daffiest ideas that are still being promoted.  Such as that voting for the Green Candidate, probably what is becoming their modest version of Harold Stassen, Jill Stein*, is a moral, wise, courageous and - stupidest and most dishonest of all of all - an efficacious act.   The total inefficacy of such acts is best viewed by the advocacy of such journals to vote for Nader, though other names could serve the same purpose.

It occurred to me while I was reading the articles that led to that post, I've been reading The Nation and Progressive for about fifty years, Mother Jones for forty and In These Times almost since its beginning and I doubt the combined force of those in our politics would have really made much of a difference at all.   Even the best of their journalism is turned into nothing by the absurd self-indulgence of articles urging people to vote for absurdly futile presidential and other candidates who have had absolutely no rational prospect of winning the election.  And there were the odd article by those daffiest of self-indulgent preening play-leftists, containing the smug assertions of the moral superiority of their principled decision to not vote.  It was often lightly passed off as a joke when it was about as irresponsible a thing as could be advocated.

If there is some clue as to the futility of a publication of the left, it is when they urge people to either not vote or to throw away their vote on some candidate who will never win instead of the candidate who, when they took office, would produce anything from not as bad as their opponent, to much less bad than their opponent to entirely better than their opponent.

If it were a matter of what to buy in the way of food instead of voting any magazine that advocated you either never buy it or to spend all of your money on candy instead of even substandard but nutritious food would be excoriated as being dangerously irresponsible.  But those magazines and their like have been advocating the political equivalent of that for the left for more than a century.   Advocating that Americans throw away their vote on people who will never win an election makes a mockery of the blood and lives lost in order to win the vote.   People on the left should appreciate just how much of a dereliction of responsibility it is, far more so than conservatives who, somehow, don't seem to be encouraged to waste votes on never-will-win candidates as often as we on the left have been encouraged to do.** And their electoral success should show that voting for someone who can win is surprisingly effective as compared to voting for people who won't ever win. 

The magazines of the left have learned nothing from some extremely tough experience, they are run by self-indulgent, irresponsible children who have no respect for their readers or their real lives in the reality they live in.  Perhaps it is due to the fact the the pool of talent from which they draw is too affluent or too removed from the wider reality most people face as they don't live in New York City, San Francisco or other urban oases of what has been relatively liberal governance and their ambient social milieu.  From whatever bubble of unreality they are issued from, they don't work for us out here in reality.   They don't even work for most of the people in those cities, their local political influence is about as much.  If their ideas worked we wouldn't face the prospect of devolving into fascism.  We need something else that takes reality into account more regularly and which has some basic grasp on the facts of American politics as it really exists in the wider world.

This was the year I lost my emotional attachment to those magazines and many other leftist venues of media.   After the hard experience of the Bush II regime, of how its imposition was aided by the Greens, after the denials of its responsibility for helping bring that about, they're ready to do it all again not two decades later.   All of the people in charge of those publications, the people who choose what they publish,  were old enough at the time to have learned from the Bush II catastrophe.  They have learned nothing and I'm not buying them anymore.

* She would have to be their modest version of Stassen, everything about the Greens would be honestly seen as being as modest as could be.  Stassen's absurd, perpetual quest to become president was probably more realistic.

** Again I have to wonder if the fact that so many of those who have run and written for magazine of the left have been influenced by their atheistic faith in the Marxist dialectic accounts for their absurd faith in that most widespread of all leftist, mostly atheist, magical thinking, that revolution will come from fascism.  It's clear their beliefs depend on some kind of automatic, pseudo-scientific magic as opposed to facing the reality that when your behavior enables fascism, you get fascism.

Update updated:  Let me break this to you as hard as possible, no one in the universe but you cares about your symbolic, principled vote for the Greens.   Even other preening egomaniacs who do what you do don't care, they're too busy preening in their own symbolic virtue.  You are political narcissists. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Jean-Baptiste Boclé, Jean-Baptiste Boclé - Candy Men

I'm pretty sure the personelle is
Jean-Baptiste Boclé, piano and vibes
Ronan Le Bars, uilleann pipes
Michael Brecke, drums
Gildas Boclé, bass
But I might be wrong about Michael Brecke  it might be Marcello Pellitteri

Update One's Way

Hate Mail - "You must be a right-wing fundamentalist"

"Great wealth depends on cheap labor.  That's why we're having such a hassle over the minimum wage.  It will impinge on great wealth, a little bit."

Walter Brueggemann talking about the Solomonic regime ACCORDING TO THE ACCOUNT AS WRITTEN IN THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES AND RESPONDED TO BY THE PROPHETS.  I defy anyone to find a left wing atheist who is pushing a more radical egalitarian economic and social agenda than that found in the scriptures as read by Brueggemann and, really, most of main-line Christianity.

No More Open Primaries

Southern Beale's interpretation of the West Virginia primary is one of the best succinct explanations of why open primaries are an open invitation to screwing up the opposing party.  She quotes a story from NBC that should give any real Democrat a reason to oppose open primaries.

A third of those who voted in West Virginia’s Democratic primary say they plan to back Trump in November, according to NBC News exit polls. Sanders won those voters by a wide margin.

In fact, 39 percent of Sanders voters said they would vote for Trump over Sanders in the fall. For Clinton, nine percent of her voters say they plan to come out for Trump in the general election.

West Virginia has an open primary, meaning independents can vote in the Democratic contest. With the GOP nomination wrapped up, it’s possible mischievous Trump supporters sought to damage Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, by voting for Sanders.

Between their use of the blatantly anti-democratic, vote-suppressing caucuses and the Republicans aiding in a spoiler campaign through open primaries, the Sanders campaign continuing on its course isn't only risking enabling Republicans, it's gaming the worst features of the process, the things that make the super delegates look like a necessary protection of the party.

If the Democratic Party is led to defeat by a life-long independent gaming the system the way it has been this year, we really need to do something about this.   Even if Hillary Clinton wins we need to do something about it.  I don't know exactly what but we can't live with the crazy quilt of crazy laws and policies that can be used by our opponent and opportunists to defeat us.

On Looking At The State Of The "Left" This Morning

I have come to the conclusion that the worst of left wing journalism has exactly the same business model as FOX and hate-talk right wing media,  in general.  They have a target audience and they provide them with that most irresistible of all addictions, some other group that they can hate and loathe and hate and loathe en masse and in a frenzy of communal clicking so as to preen in their superiority to them.   Really, it's a business model that has made such things as pro-wrestling into a huge business.   That is what the Salons, the Alternets, and even the Nations, Mother Jones and In These Times are doing.   And, considering that the model, pandering to the worst in people, has worked a lot better to put Republicans in office than liberals, what's good for lefty media is really bad for liberalism in reality.   That is only to be expected, liberalism depends for its very existence on making appeals to the best in people, not exploiting their strongest weaknesses and lowest inclinations.

Perhaps the people who write for those companies and the people attracted to comment on their websites are entirely unrepresentative of most liberals, I hope they are because if they aren't, we're dead.  But even if they are a minority of those deputed to be on the left, the experience of the past fifty years is that they can provide us with a margin of loss due to the self-indulgent petulance encouraged by such media venues.   Bernie Sanders' campaign talks about rage which he intends to channel into change, what I see is tantrums that will lead to another horrific Republican regime so close on the heels of the Bush II disaster.

I am also coming to think one of the endemic problems of the left is that it is too reliant on the artificial hot-house of colleges and universities, academics who have more invested in their publications and tenure than in making what change can be made.   I mentioned the Hegelian delusion of thinking that if the dialectic is pushed to fascism it will, scientifically and with all of the power of an irresistible force to Marxism.  I've been reading assertions that boil down to that since I was a teenager - in other words a very long time.   The only result of that in reality has been fascism.

Liberalism, real liberalism,  isn't a mere alternative and opposite force to conservatism, not in the traditional American meaning of those words.   The fact is that liberalism is all about a totally different view of life,  in the West, based on the morals derived from the Hebrew prophets, the morals that are set up to ensure equal justice,  equal rights, a decent living to everyone on an equal basis.   They are the morals that Walter Brueggemann talked about in that video I posted last Sunday, they are asserted exactly in order to prevent the development of a society in which the rich and powerful are able to extract from those beneath them to enhance themselves.

That liberalism is an entirely different thing than a society which is set up for that kind of extraction, exactly the society that Republicans,  American conservatives, have succeeded in imposing on us.   They have done so through a combination of seducing people through an appeal to their most attractive weaknesses and basest of pleasures sold with a lying and attractive program of entertainment.   And in that they were enabled, aided and abetted by liberals whose model of liberalism was based in the "scientific", "enlightenment" interpretation of the same extractive society but which they also called "liberalism."  That "enlightenment" style liberalism merely took the mechanism of that extractive exploitation out of the hands of the traditional, medieval aristocracy and put it in the hands of those most able and willing to do the extraction without any moral restraint.   The faith of such liberals that, somehow, magically, nature would make it all come out right in the end is one of the most idiotic and stupid ideas which the savants who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights foisted onto the new nation.   The results were the moral atrocity of the early 19th century, the civil war, the gilded age and they remain with us in the imperial age and into its present decay.   Whatever correction that has happened was not due to nature, it was not due to the movement of the dialectic, it was due to people struggling against that and for the morality that is its only true corrective.   There is a reason that during the entire period of the abolition struggle and, later, the civil rights struggle that there was a constant invocation of the Hebrew prophets, invoked by people who knew their Bible, it was because that was the very text that provided the knowledge needed to struggle against the system of extraction.

The lefty media has rejected that force, the very source of it, out of academic fashion and a pretense that what they are engaged in is science.   How much that has to do with its role in maintaining the losing posture the left has been perpetually stuck in might be considered.   There are a lot of reasons that we lose so consistently when the policies that come from real liberalism would help the large majority of people.   But they can't even understand that because they have been so thoroughly propagandized by TV, radio, Hollywood, and now the internet, so seduced with the suicidal pleasures presented to them, so entertained to death that they are powerless to resist even the billionaires who are crushing us and destroying the possibility of life.

The secular left has been selling us on a totally imaginary, inevitable, pseudo-scientific faith in how things happen.  The influence of Marx and Engels and other atheist pseudo-scientific thinkers of the 19th and 20th century have been a dead weight on the real left, the left that takes its thinking from the Hebrew tradition, both before and after Jesus.   I said that Christianity got into trouble whenever it ignored or got too far from those roots, the very roots that informed the teachings of Jesus,  liberalism gets into the same trouble when it abandons them for some ridiculous pseudo-scientific assertions that these things happen by forces of nature, even assertions of them being a manifestation of physical laws.   The very fact that a decent, egalitarian society is the rarest of rare phenomena, and so vulnerable to decay and destruction is all the proof anyone would need that it is not a product of nature, it is a product of our better nature, of actions and intentions and predilections nurtured out of our rising above what happens "naturally".   Things only got worse when people figured they couldn't escape the force of natural selection, especially in the Freudian posturing around that.   The secular-lefty media have been the biggest saps there are for that kind of stuff.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bunny Berigan - Russian Lullaby

Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, et al - I Found A New Baby

Teddy Wilson (piano)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Lester Young (tenor sax)
Freddy Green (guitar)
Walter Page (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)

Really Really Bad Metaphors - Colbert and Sanders from Last Night

Only the election isn't a candy bar, you can't run a campaign on the change someone left in the change slot, and the country isn't a candy machine that you can shake and get what you paid for.  

Bernie Sanders is on the road to us not only not getting the candy bar but us losing everything. 

Though this could be a metaphor for the kind of thinking that leads to the left losing one election after another, after another, after another, after another....

The Leftist Media In the United States Is One Of The Biggest Impediments To Progress Because It Is Insane

Several days ago, I thought there was a glimmer of a hope that there would be reality break through in the lefty zines because In These Times posted a piece by Sady Doyle, A Progressive Case For Clinton.  Finally, I thought, someone is facing the real reality and an actual magazine of the left has published it.  Maybe it was the first sign that the pivot from the romantic dream of a Bernie Sanders presidency in which he would finally bring the corporations down and deliver the public good would give way to the waking reality that Hillary Clinton is going to be the most liberal person with a chance to be President of the United States in January.  That she was the only thing that would stand between us and President Trump. I finally thought that they would cut out the nonsense and realize that an overtly racist, sexist, incompetent TV reality-show huckster would be president if she were not and act responsibly.

But this morning I read at In These Times they've put up a counter-piece to Doyles, by Douglas Williams,  a doctoral student in political science at Wayne State University in Detroit, slamming Hillary Clinton and encouraging people to vote for someone who will never, not in any of our lifetimes put end-to-end be president, Jill Stein.

And that kind of thing is the current state of affairs at, literally, every single magazine site of the left I've looked at in the past week. 

Their behavior this year has woken me up to the fact that the media of the left more often than not is an impediment to change because they are run by nut cases and staffed largely by them.   Anyone who experienced the George W. Bush presidency, anyone who can remember the Reagan-Bush I regime, and certainly anyone whose memory extends back before the Nixon years who has learned so little from that experience that they would be encouraging people to vote for anyone but Hillary has forfeited the right to expect anyone to take them seriously.

The leftist media has enabled the tumble of the country into Republican-fascism, this year is the one they just might seal the deal that they have tacitly made with them to hand it over on the incredibly stupid and delusional idea that if they screw up the country bad enough that it will magically turn everything around in the opposite direction.   If it's the influence of the incredibly stupid superstition in the dialectic, who knows?   Whatever it is that makes them so stupid, let me tell you, I've been reading them being that stupid for the past fifty years of Republican-fascist advancement and they've learned nothing at all.   Maybe it's because so many of the people who run the leftist media are members of the educated elite who aren't all that worried about their own careers and lives.  Maybe it's because so many of them live in the largely make-believe world of social sciences and the degenerated humanities or are too young to really have experienced how bad things can get.

I don't know the comprehensive list of why the leftist magazines and media are obviously non compos mentis but, this year, seeing how they are acting, what they are saying, the fact is that they are and they have had a big hand in blocking progress and enabling the enemies of everything they claim to favor. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Peggy Lee: I Don't Know Enough About You (Lee / Barbour)

I think the band is directed by the guitarist Dave Barbour, who was married to Peggy Lee at the time.  They made a lot of good records together.   And some movie shorts.  Including this classic.

E. Krähmer - Variations op. 18, Csakan and Piano-forte

Nathalie Houtman, csakan, (Csakan Guido Hulsens in Ab, after Johann Ziegler (Vienna c. 1815)
 Raphaël Collignon, piano-forte (1833, era Pleyel)

Score  Note that the csakan is a transposing instrument in Ab.   A really fun piece.

Hate Mail

My goal is to point out that Bernie or Bust - in the face of its one and only flip side, 


- is insane.

Csakan Do

One of the unfortunate things about that most well ... well, most often played of musical instruments, the humble recorder, is that the most famous and influential player from the 1960s and 70s sold the world on the idea that in order to play with varying dynamics that it was OK to play the thing sometimes painfully out of tune.  I could never stand hearing his many, ubiquitous recordings, some made with otherwise very fine musicians.  How they could stand to hear music played intentionally out of tune - and some of his recordings almost achieve the atonality of some of the most famously bad singers in history - I don't know.  THE THING CAN BE PLAYED VERY WELL AND IN TUNE.

When the very late development of the recorder, the csakan, began to be revived, it, unfortunately, was also often played seriously out of tune.  Which is unfortunate because, as players like Michala Petri showed, even the plain old recorder it didn't have to be a choice of playing in tune or playing with different dynamic levels if you used alternate fingerings to achieve different dynamics.

The most renowned player of the csakan was Ernest Krähmer (1795-1837), who was famous for his ability to play the instrument at a wide variety of dynamic levels.   He also wrote some of its most significant music.

One of the better players I've heard  playing the instrument on recordings is  Rubens Küffer who often plays with the romantic period guitarist Max Riccio, "The Biedermeiers".

Rubens Küffer gives a demonstration of his development of different dynamic levels on the instrument using alternative fingerings, with Krähmer's 18th study for solo csakan.

And here is another with,  explanation in Portugese with subtitles in on the  the 17th study.

Here is a recording of The Biedermeiers playing   Variations sur l'air "Gestern Abend war Vetter Michel da" by Carl Scheindienst.  

I have to confess, I know how annoyed it makes some people I love to annoy when someone, well, when I present unusual music and not so often heard from musical instruments into the discussion.  But it is interesting, especially to people who play a recorder or romantic era guitars or anyone who's interested in trying music by composers they'd never heard of before.  And this music was very popular in its time, in the same period when the more well known Viennese composers were active.  Beethoven may have played a csakan, he seems to have owned one in the form of a walking stick.  Flute walking sticks were, for some reason endearingly popular.  He must have been aware of it.   

Let me ask, how many of us knew that someone named Wenzeslaus Matiegka wrote a trio for csakan, viola and guitar?  I'd never heard of him until last night. 

If They Gave A Pulitzer For U.S. Civics Education Canadian Samantha Bee Would Have It Nailed

In this segment alone, she's done more for telling Americans how their political system REALLY works than all the rest of the media combined. 

Her show is one of the few good things that have happened so far this year.  

The Slogan That Holds Donald Trump Replacing Several Supreme Court Members Is a "Scare Tactic" Is Chilling

I have been a bit fixated on the folly of the Bernie or Busters, eight years of George W. Bush sort of sticks with you, especially as most of his worst policies are still with us.   And the role that Ralph Nader played in his installation, with the support of the same left which now is declaring "Bernie or Bust" is also something I'm never going to forget.   The publications and media shows and institutions and companies that are promoting that 1st world luxury - most of them relatively safe and affluent - have already earned my enmity.   If their crop of folly goes on to produce the Trump presidency, they will have earned eternal blame, derision and rejection for the rest of our lives. 

Having been extremely critical of the Nation columnist Katha Pollitt in the past few years, with good reason, I've got to give credit where it is due.   She wrote one of the best short columns about why Bernie Sanders isn't the white knight who his most ardent supporters and his campaign sell him as being.   He's a white, male left-wing politician of his generation, a kind of quasi-Marxist economics fixated leftist whose views of even those issues weren't informed by the lives, experience and thoughts of women and members of racial minorities.  

Bernie is a traditional leftist for whom feminism is a distraction.

Why didn’t Bernie get me? Well, there’s electability: I just don’t believe Americans are ready for a 74-year-old self-described socialist with a long far-left CV who would raise their taxes by quite a lot. By the time the Republicans got finished with him, he’d be the love child of Rosa Luxemburg and the Ayatollah Khomeini, and then it’s hello, President Trump. There’s the question, too, of how much Bernie could actually accomplish. Would he make an effective president, as I think Hillary will—all the more so now that she’s been forced to see that a significant part of the Democratic electorate is to her left?

Part of the answer is simpler, though: Bernie didn’t ask for my vote. Oh, you can go to his website and find a page of boilerplate setting out his general commitments to women’s rights: He’s in favor of equal pay, reproductive rights, the ERA, the Violence Against Women Act, childcare for all, and so on—a laundry list, indeed, of the causes dear to the heart of those often derided by his supporters as bourgeois feminists content with incremental change. I am aware, too, that Bernie has a good voting record on those issues in Congress. But there’s a difference between someone who votes the right way, and someone who introduces legislation and champions the issue. He never convinced me that gender issues, specifically the persistent subordination of women in every area of life, were of much concern to him. There were all those little tells. Pooh-poohing Planned Parenthood and NARAL as “establishment” when he didn’t get their endorsement. Arguing for parental leave because it allows a new mother “to stay home and bond with her baby” instead of as something that benefits fathers as well, and something that women need in order to work and advance on the job. Doubling down on the idiotic quip by his surrogate, Killer Mike (“A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States”), with the pseudo-lofty pledge “No one has ever heard me say, ‘Hey guys, let’s stand together, vote for a man.’ I would never do that, never have.” Is there a word for someone whose entitlement is so vast, so deep, so historically embedded, and so unconscious it includes the belief that they got where they are by a resolute devotion to fair play? It’s not reassuring that his senior campaign staff, like his long-time political inner circle, is almost entirely white and male.

And she points out, he also doesn't really get people of color.

At 74, you are who you are. Bernie is a traditional class-based leftist for whom feminism is a distraction. Abortion, as he told Rolling Stone, is a “social issue.” Women’s mental and physical health, their economic survival, their ability to determine the shape of their own lives as men do, is a social issue? The clear implication is that reproductive rights (like guns and LGBT rights, which he mentions in the same breath) are secondary considerations, impediments to winning broad support for his populist economic proposals. I can go to the comment sections of AlterNet—or The Nation—and get that view any day from the bros, but I really thought we’d be further along with a white man who wants to lead a movement in a party that is majority female and over a third people of color. (And that’s just registered members—in 2012, 46 percent of people who voted Democratic were people of color.)

After Indiana, the GOP looks more likely than ever to nominate a racist, xenophobic misogynist of staggering crudeness and mendacity. If elected, Trump would consult with the conservative Heritage Foundation on Supreme Court nominations. We could well lose what remains of a century of progress for women, workers, LGBT people, and people of color, including the right to vote itself.

Trump understands very well that racism and sexism are crucial components of the nationalistic insurgence he wants to lead; he appeals openly to some of the darkest impulses in our political id. It is more than disturbing that Bernie pays so little attention to these dangers. He’s changed the debate within the Democratic Party by showing that millions of voters want more than incremental, technocratic tinkering with growing inequality. For that, I’m grateful. But when it comes to dealing with the Republicans in November, I don’t think Bernie gets the awful reality we’re facing. Hillary does.

I think that Hillary Clinton does get it and I am convinced that many of Bernie Sanders' supporters really don't get it or they really don't care.   Young people who are used to the benefits of the legislation of the past century and unaware of the history of how their rights were won seem to believe they can't go away, even as they see them being taken away by the Berger, Rehnquist and Roberts courts.   The lines I hear from callow young Bernie Sanders fans that warning about the consequences of Donald Trump replacing several Supreme Court members, that it's a "scare tactic" is chilling.   For young women to say that, for women of any age to say that is especially troubling.  

At this point, with him poised to serve as an active, intentional spoiler or, now that he has continued with the tactics of attacking Hillary Clinton, as one even if he goes through the motion of supporting her, I'm not sure Bernie Sanders is willing to face the consequences of what he really has done.   If his window to make that pivot is still there, it's almost entirely closed now.  With talk about his "movement" continuing and the Green grifters looking to absorb his "movement" into yet another Green spoiler disaster, it might already be too late.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mercedes Sosa - La Maza

Song by Silvio Rodriguez 

I can't find a good translation into English.   If you know of one I'd really like to have it.    

Warnings Of What Could Be Our Reality Beginning Next Year

Of course, the terrible things I heard from the Nuremberg Trials, about the six million Jews and the people from other races who were killed, were facts that shocked me deeply. But I wasn't able to see the connection with my own past. I was satisfied that I wasn't personally to blame and that I hadn't known about those things. I wasn't aware of the extent. 

But one day I went past the memorial plaque which had been put up for Sophie Scholl in Franz Josef Strasse, and I saw that she was born the same year as me, and she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler. And at that moment I actually sensed that it was no excuse to be young, and that it would have been possible to find things out.

Traudl Junge:  One of Hitler's secretaries, interviewed when she was an old woman.

The White Rose Society Call To Resistance 

A Call to All Germans!  

The war is approaching its destined end. As in the year 1918, the German government is trying to focus attention exclusively on the growing threat of submarine warfare, while in the East the armies are constantly in retreat and invasion in imminent in the West. Mobilization in the United States has not yet 
reached its clima, but already it exceeds anything that the world has ever seen. It has become a mathematical certainty that Hitler is leading the German people into the abyss. Hitler cannot win the war; he can only prolong it. The guilt of Hitler and his minions goes beyond all measure. Retribution comes closer and closer.  

But what are the German people doing? They will not see and will not listen. Blindly they follow their seducers into ruin. Victory at any price! is inscribed on their banner. "I will fight to the last man," says Hitler-but in the meantime the war has already been lost.  

Germans! Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews? Do you want to be judged by the same standards are your traducers? Are we to be forever a nation which is hated and warejected by all mankind? No. Dissociate yourselves from National Socialist gangsterism. Prove by your deeds that you think otherwise. A new war of liberation is about to begin. The better part of the nation will fight on our side. Cast off the cloak of indifference you have wrapped around you. Make the decision before it is too late. Do not believe the National Socialist propaganda which has driven the fear of Bolshevism into your bones. Do not believe that Germany's welfare is linked to the victory of national Socialism for good or ill. A criminal regime cannot achieve a German victory. Separate yourselves in time from everything connected with National Socialism. In the aftermath a terrible but just judgment will be meted out to those who stayed in hiding, who were cowardly and hesitant.  

What can we learn from the outcome of this war-this war that never was a national war?  

The imperialist ideology of force, from whatever side it comes, must be shattered for all time. A one sided Prussian militarism must never again be allowed to assume power. Only in large-scale cooperation among the nations of Europe can the ground be prepared for reconstruction. Centralized hegemony, such as the Prussian state has tried to exercise in Germany and in Europe, must be cut down at its inception. The Germany of the future must be a federal state. At this juncture only a sound federal system can imbue a weakened Europe with a new life. The workers must be liberated from their condition of down trodden slavery under National Socialism. The illusory structure of autonomous national industry must disappear. Every nation and each man have a right to the goods of the whole world!  

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the protection of individual citizens from the arbitrary will of criminal regimes of violence-these will be the bases of the New Europe.  

Support the resistance. Distribute the leaflets!

The Opportunistic Use Of Democratic Process

You may have heard on the news that the Maine Democratic Convention delegates voted overwhelmingly to get rid of super-delegates and that they also voted to make the five super-delegates from my state vote proportionally for Bernie Sanders whereas most of them have already pledged as supporting Hillary Clinton.

Of course the mantra is that super-delegates are anti-democratic, which is, to some extent, true but a moot point.  There are whole chunks of the nominating systems across the country which are anti-democratic, not to mention the entire process of electing a president under the rules set up by the constitution.  As Samantha Bee noted, given that their nomination process got down to a choice between Donald Trump and Ted Cruise,  a lot of Republicans would be willing to give a much cherished part of their anatomy to have  super-delegates this year.   Super-delegates were instituted as a means of having a strong Democratic nominee after the stinking un-democratic nomination procedures gave us a series of losing and weak candidates for President.  As an aside, it is really telling that it takes a Canadian to tell Americans about how screwed up the nomination process is.  

The great irony of their vote against super-delegates at the Convention this weekend,  is that if Maine didn't do presidential nominations in that most anti-democratic part of the process, caucuses, it's not a foregone conclusion that most of those Bernie Sanders delegates would have been at the Maine State Convention and it's almost certain that Bernie Sanders wouldn't have gotten as big a percentage of the caucus vote as he had.  This year the biggest beneficiary of the most anti-democratic part of the process has been Bernie Sanders.   Certainly in Maine and other caucus states. 

I might be in favor of getting rid of the super-delegate system, in a future election IF IT IS PART OF A TOTAL REFORM OF THE PROCESS.  The thing I'd start with would be to get rid of caucuses in favor of primaries in all states, AND IF WE GOT RID OF OPEN PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES.  I will repeat that up until the day of the Maine caucus I wasn't particularly worried about the presence of an independent, Bernie Sanders in the Democratic contest for the nomination.  It was hearing his supporters at the caucus,  many of whom obviously never had been registered Democrats and many of whom clearly intended to drop the party affiliation if their candidate didn't get the nomination.  After the experience of 2000 and 2004 the most certain way to get my guard up it is hearing alleged leftists openly, at a Democratic caucus, talk about how they will vote for the Green Party candidate if they didn't get their way in the Democratic nomination.

No party necessarily owes people who are not serious and real supporters of it a chance to nominate someone to carry the most important nomination.   The excuse for open primaries is that they are paid for by the government and should be open to all.  Well, they are open to all, if people want to put up a candidate for some other party, they can, they can do that.   They could, I would imagine, through some mechanism put a dozen "independent" candidates on a ballot.  I wouldn't have any problem with a rule saying that any "independent" candidate that got above a threshold level of support in a primary could appear on the ballot, though not as the candidate of the Democratic Party.   Though that threshold should place the in serious contention to win a majority of the votes in the general election.   We've had enough experience to show that allowing never-could-win spoilers on the ballot is a disaster for democracy, not an expression of its health. 

It is especially funny, this year, to have all those Jill Stein fans of futility and guaranteed to be ignored symbolism pushing the line that the process this year is anti-democratic.  In the wake of the Maine Caucus, I went to the Green Party website and looked around.   One of the things I found was the clearly miffed declaration of the Colorado Greens that they would not endorse Bernie Sanders as encouraged by the Oklahoma Greens.  Among the other reasons given was that Green Party rules wouldn't allow them to retain their affiliation if they did that. 

Additionally, we are affiliated with the Green Party of the United states. One of the requirements of accreditation with GPUS is that we must support only the presidential nominee from our national party. We do not intend to do anything but that. We have five different presidential candidates, and from among them, we will choose our nominee at our national convention in Houston on August 3-7, 2016. Colorado will send five delegates to that convention. At present, Dr. Jill Stein is recognized as the front runner, but the other four candidates are also very thoughtful and forward thinking, much more than anything the Democratic slate has to offer.

Notice that last sentence which is as clear a sign of the delusion that comprises the thinking of the Greens.  There is one thing that none of their candidates for president offers, any chance in hell of winning the election, becoming president and putting any laws or policies into effect.  That three decades into the quasi-existence of the Green Party, for them to figure that someone who gets some attention in the minor venues of the lefty media is offering anything except their own ego-pleasing publicity is a crack pot.   Yet such people were also allowed to vote as Democrats in this years Maine Caucus when they obviously had no loyalty to the party or respect for the overall choice of Democratic voters across the country.   

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hate Mail

Oh, yeah, I see you posted that comment on a very important post Duncan did about whether or not it's cheeze whiz or provolone on Philly cheese stake.   I don't know where he gets these original ideas for blog posts.  Maybe he saw how easy that makes  it on yours. You've been repeating the common received talking points for decades.

Ben Weber - Concert Aria After Solomon, Op. 29

Bethany Beardslee, soprano
orchestra conducted by Frank Brieff in 1953

I love Ben Weber's music.  It should be performed more often.  

Covenental Economics: How God Wants Us to Treat the Other - Dr. Walter Brueggemann

April 10, 2016

Every time I hear Walter Brueggemann talk about the importance of Sabbath, he makes me feel guilty for posting stuff almost every day.   If not me then I'm sure you people need a break from me.

I love what he says about the subversiveness of the Eucharist in this talk and his criticism of the diminution of the Eucharist from its fullest context.   It seems to me that Christianity gets into trouble whenever it gets away from its Jewish roots in a rejection of the extraction economy for the entirely better alternative he talks about in this piece.   As he points out, the Bible says the same thing about Jews who get away from those same roots.

See Also: The Disease of Being Busy  BY OMID SAFI