Saturday, October 22, 2016

OK, I Hate Roasts But This Is Worth A Jillion Dollars Rudy Giuliani Scowls As Hillary Clinton Roasts Him

I almost thought it was my most obsessive troll.

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Donovan's Brain

Getting ready for Halloween.

When Kurt Siodmak's novel, "Donovan's Brain," was published it was a shocker for the time. It was quickly made into a sensational motion picture starring Lew Ayres. The "Suspense" radio program produced their own two part adaptation of it which aired in May of 1944 on two consecutive Mondays. A two parter was a radical departure for "Suspense." This version starred Orson Welles and is superb audio drama. 

I prefer more modern radio drama to most of the old stuff.  Except the comedy, I'm a huge fan of Eve Arden as Our Miss Brooks.  But here's a classic from Orson Welles.


I don't know if this was recorded as broadcast live or not, I hope it was.  It's fun to hear Bette Davis in this and more fun to hear "Henry" being insane.

Look What Came Up When I Pasted The Wrong Thing Into Google Images

The Snobbiest Critic - Steve Simels
snobCongratulations Steve Simels of TV Guide, you gave ratings that were, on average, 24.3% lower than the average audience member! 24.3%!

Hillary Clinton Without Having To Worry About "Manhood" Issues Might Be A New And Better Kind of President

I listened to the recording of Hillary Clinton at the Al Smith dinner and I have to say that I liked her self-deprecating and, at times, funny delivery, though I hate that kind of event.  Political roasts are one of the lowest forms of socializing, they are an awful thing.   I've come to really respect how she is handling her public persona.   That woman is brilliant and, unlike the guys, she's not going to let her self-image get in the way of doing what's sensible and what's right.  Understanding why she, of all politicians during my lifetime, has a reason for keeping herself within carefully determined bounds I'm glad she isn't a great stand-up.  She knows more than anyone that the media and her opponents will use, literally, anything and everything she does to attack her and, when she doesn't provide them with anything to make into a weapon, they'll lie those up, to expect her to be spontaneous all the time or any of the time, on camera or at the mic,  is ridiculous.

The role that American male presidents' male egos, the role the imagined status of their "manhood" has played in bad policy decisions, certainly in presidents from Truman right down to Obama, should be considered more seriously.  I think having men as leaders in a democracy comes with a real price, certainly when they let their gender insecurities play a role in their decision making.

I wonder if we're about to find out that a woman without that baggage has a real potential to be a far better president than a man with that particular and dangerous hangup.

The American media, made up these days of college graduates who are more likely chosen for what they look like on camera and who they know,  love to cherish the most insultingly condescending stereotype of American voters, the common people, the plebs.   One of the most revolting of those so often repeated lines is that Americans are so stupid and so superficial that we choose to vote for who we do on the basis of imagining what it would be like to have a beer with them.   Barack Obama fell for the nonsense when he had his infamous "beer summit" with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley, which really didn't do anything for anyone.   Barack Obama has many fine qualities but he shares in the same kind of condescending view of the American People that people of his class, prep-Ivy educated professionals,  love to believe.*

Well, I think Americans generally are more mature than we're given credit for and if treated with respect for our intelligence we are quite able to surpass the self-serving media promoted stereotype of us served to us like a cheese burger made of their crap.    Hillary Clinton is not going to be the "kind of guy that you'd want to have a beer with".   She's a serious person who has worked harder than just about anyone with her opportunities for self advancement, not for herself but for the common good.

In voting for her I certainly wasn't doing so out of some fantasy scenario where we were best buddies, I think that when the white-collar-correspondence dinner class media does that they are projecting their own fantasies onto those of us who don't maintain them.  I doubt any of her voters are voting for her on that basis.   I voted for her because she's far smarter than I am and far better informed and has proven to be dedicated to the serious business of leading a potentially great democracy into doing what's right and what makes sense instead of what is wrong and what serves the elite few.  

I don't want her drinking beer with the guys.  If I got one of my dearest wishes it would be for her to pass up that annual correspondents dinner.  It's a sign of how little integrity the DC media have that they would be dining and playing with the very people they're supposed to be reporting on.  And the fault is all theirs, they have a professional obligation to not do that, the politicians have no corresponding professional obligation to not try to use them.

I want Hillary Clinton to be a great president, a president who will, no doubt, do things I don't like at all but one who will seriously try to do what's right and what is in the interest of all of us, even those who are so superficial and stupid as to want a president to be one of the guys instead of a great leader. The guy who runs the small business a mile away might be a great guy to have a beer with, or, in my case, a cup of coffee, but, believe me, he's not presidential material and neither of us mistakes the other for such.  We don't harbor those kinds of fantasies.  

*  Even the good guys in the media love that condescending view of The People.  This conversation between Ezra Klein and Molly Ball drips with condescension and I'm sure neither of them begins to realize it.  I especially found the subtitle quote from the Yalie, Molly Ball, to be aggravatingly condescending.  If you really believe what she said is true, you've got no reason to believe that democracy can work.

This is not an election about policy. Possibly none of them have been, and we’ve all been fooling ourselves our whole lives. I feel like that’s been one of my learning experiences — that elections were, maybe, never about ideas. Maybe they were always about issues of identity and tribe and people’s sense of where the interests of their group lie and who they identify with.

My suspicion is that this kind of stuff comes from the college class being sold on the degraded view of human beings promoted in the social "sciences", though that, as well, is a creation of class assumptions and the dominant materialist academic ideology.  If you don't start out with the idea that people can be better than that, you wonder why Ball and Klein would be in the business of journalism and what effect it has on their thinking and writing about issues.   She continued:

It’s bigger than the “political system” writ small. It’s the whole system — the class system of “out of touch elites” who fly on each other’s jets and give expensive systems and hobnob in the same circles and go to Davos. Trump may be the billionaire in the race, but there’s a vulgarity to him that makes him not part of that polite civilization.

You have to wonder who it is that Ball imagines she's writing to inform and for what purpose.  Though it might be quite unfair to hold her up as embodying all of the worst of our media, I think that the exchange between her and Klein, hardly the worst of them, is illustrative of the general attitude of those who seem to think that The People are a force to be channeled instead of as individuals whose better natures can be addressed and supported and whose intelligence needs accurate information.   Maybe if the media did that job instead of presenting us to ourselves as base superficial idiots we could get the American democratic train back on track.

Update:  I keep the option of posting stupid comments when those are useful to illustrate points. Simple Simels posted one that illustrates my point:

steve simelsOctober 22, 2016 at 1:57 PM
"Barack Obama has many fine qualities but he shares in the same kind of condescending view of the American People that people of his class, prep-Ivy educated professionals, love to believe."

You're so right, Sparkles. That's why it was Obama who called them the deplorables, not Hillary. 

Oh wait....

Stupy mistakes the racists, misogynists, bigots, gun nuts,.... Trump guys, who Hillary Clinton was talking about as comprising the majority of the American People instead of a minority of people who aren't typical of every-day Americans.  Or at least that's what he's stupid enough to claim.   That's something the Trump deplorables also think.  It was clear that Hillary Clinton was referring to the people who give in to their worst inclinations instead of the majority who aspire to overcome those.   I think we stand a good chance of finding out that Hillary Clinton makes a finer distinction than that, in fact I would bet on it.

Barack Obama had his "deplorables" moment, his "guns and religion" gaff,  which was comparable to Hillary Clinton's "deplorables" gaff, which she apologized for, to the anger of so many a blog snob of the Simels' kind.    I would point to one of Obama's policies that shows his hierarchical thinking is a big part of him and that's his "Race for the Top" program, which could hardly be more revealing of his belief that winners matter, those who don't win really don't.   If Obama hadn't had such an inclination I think he would have had a far more successful presidency.  It is one of his great weaknesses and that of many of the people he appointed.   I have high hopes that Hillary Clinton won't be so inclined, if she doesn't she and we will benefit, if she does, it will be an Achilles heel.

Update 2:

steve simelsOctober 22, 2016 at 2:26 PM
"Barack Obama had his "deplorables" moment, his "guns and religion" gaff, which was comparable to Hillary Clinton's "deplorables" gaff"

Neither of those was a gaff [sic] you moron -- they were accurate descriptions of a huge percentage of the American people. And gaffe is spelled with an e at the end.

gaff2   [gaf]  noun

1. harsh treatment or criticism.

1895-1900, Americanism; compare earlier British use: nonsense, humbug, Scots dial.: loud laugh, guffaw; of uncertain origin; cf. guff

You really should have learned to use a dictionary in the 4th grade.

Update 3:  Simps, you're going entirely off your rocker.

Treating Wounded Pride With Salt

Simps, I know you're almost as egomaniacal as Donald Trump but I do actually get hate that I'm pretty sure isn't from you or your famous sock drawer.   Though atheists are all pretty much a ditto machine, as your unpublished but publishable comments prove. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

You Haven't Got A Clue, Dear Detractors

A sort of post script to that post last Sunday could be that was one of the things I learned from reading and interacting with lots of atheists online was the shallowness and banality in their skepticism.   Things on the level of challenging my disbelief in Zeus, the most banal level of thinking of the "problem of evil" those along with the litany of lies about history, the insistence that religious people MUST! believe this or that other thing which I've never believed and was never taught.  That is the substance of just about all of the atheism I've seen in the great and putrid corpse lily of the new atheism of the past fifteen or so years.

It's one of the points of pride among so many atheists that they figured it all out when they were nine or eleven or seventeen and that set them in their areligious faith for life.  Well, settling in your thinking at that age isn't a sign of intelligence, it's a sign of superficiality and banality as well as snobbery.   Just a look around at what people have done on the basis of their religious belief, the martyrs and those who didn't die but who were imprisoned and oppressed for their role in the Civil Rights movement is just one example of the kind of thing that is a result of religious belief.   If I had no one else to shake up the kind of agnostic skepticism that settled over me in adolescence, the Reverend Martin Luther King jr. and so many others such as Diane Nash would have forced me to consider the possibility there was more to Christianity than what people like George Carlin, Ricky Gervaise, and on upward to propagandists against it as Thomas Huxley and Bertrand Russell presented it as being.   I mean, look at the great moral examples of atheism and compare them to the great moral examples of Christianity - I mean those who actually either risked or were given martyrdom for justice for the least among us, not people who held high office in some denomination or got paid a lot.

The idea that Christians have a total or even a near complete achievement of the teachings and commandments of Jesus and the other prophets and that it is in possession of the final word of wisdom on doing that is absurd and I don't, personally, know anyone who would assert anything like that has been done.   Christianity, as many other religious traditions, contain aspects that should keep anyone from really believing that they or some leader had achieved that level of enlightenment and, even more so, goodness.   Even the worst of modern Popes who might have wished they could say that would have balked at declaring it, only the most mentally disturbed of Catholics or those in complete and utterly unthinking ignorance would believe it.  But you'll find atheists, some of them the most eminent of scientists among them who make far more outlandish claims for the state of the knowledge of materialism, the material universe being what most atheists use for God,  something they imagine as "science" being its only prophet.   I would bet you anything if there were a way to quantify such a thing, more atheists would have the kind of blind, naive faith in something like that than a similar percentage of Christians would buy the equivalent for their religion or even The Bible.

Which gets us to the snarky piece of hate mail that prompted this.   No, I don't believe The Bible is the literal "word of God" it was written by people of varying degrees of inspiration and for various reasons and purposes.   It is a record of some of the most profound thinking on these issues ever recorded by human beings.  Some of it is the most exacting and most subtle commentary on human experience most of us will ever encounter - if we choose to encounter it.  It is so vast, so varied, so inclusive of varying points of view and such variable inspiration that you can find lots of stuff in it to mock, scorn and reject.  But the attitude you believe I would have for it is something entirely foreign to the tradition I started out in, became skeptical of, gradually made peace with and which I can see the wisdom in, now.   Catholics never treated The Bible in the way your atheist bigotry needs to have be universal among Christians.   I was never taught to read it in a literal manner or even in a uniform manner.  The differences in the different book and even within books were always acknowledged.  I have to say that many of those which I've had the most trouble with were troublesome because I failed to apply those distinctions to them, I didn't ask who wrote what they contained and why they would have said what they did.   I didn't use enough imagination of what the author would have been doing to be able to understand and, quite often, benefit from what was said.

In the passages you say deal with gay people, first, there doesn't seem to have been the idea in the minds of the writers that there are people who don't feel sexually attracted to the members of the other gender.   The assumption is that all of that behavior is behavior by otherwise straight people, in every case I can recall, men.  So there's that lapse in their thinking and what I know from experience. Second, it would seem to me what is actually condemned is a. anal sex, b. sex with children or people in the low social-political position to have to tolerate being prostituted, c. men who break their vows of fidelity, d. people who participate in the pagan-religious-political system that included the rape of children.

Well, none of those apply to me or my late partner.  The fact is that even the first of those, anal sex, is probably more often done heterosexually than among gay men and the fact is it is an act that carries some of the highest risks to the health and well being of both of the participants but, especially, to the one who is penetrated.   I will never stop pointing out that it was when gay men were talked into considering anal sex as "the real gay sex" in the 1970s. mostly through porn, that we became especially vulnerable to STDs, and that we were among the groups most vulnerable to infection with HIV and, so, dying of AIDS.   I wouldn't be at all surprised if the ancient Hebrews didn't witness some similar effects of anal sex and so they knew it was immoral to risk the health and well being of those who engaged in it, especially those forced into it through temple prostitution.   I strongly suspect that the same thing was known to the ancient Greeks who had rather harsh rules against that one class they cared about, men who had the means or connections to be citizens of the polis being the passive recipient of anal penetration.  They didn't care about women, slaves, foreigners, so there was no prohibition on them being used.  The Hebrew Law was far more universal in its concern and far more egalitarian in it edicts.  And we've learned a lot about the radical egalitarian justice that develops in that tradition, especially with the witness of the horrific modern period when scientific and industrial methods of killing people with sociological record keeping have forced us to face that potential in us all.  Looking into the often inspired record of human experience and thought in The Bible is far more helpful than reading Russell or Freud or the other materialists.  Materialism, atheism, is a dead end.  It is no way to attain freedom, it's a guarantee to deny that freedom, even free thought are possible.  It can't tell some straight guy why my rights matter.  I've never been attacked or threatened by someone who took the Gospel seriously, the guys who do that are seriously irreligious if not anti-religious.  You can tell from their language and the way they act.

I am not the person you want me to be.  My experience and thinking aren't what you want them to be. Those stereotypes are invented by you guys for your edification and convenience so you won't have to deal with other people as they really are.   Everything's more complicated than you like it being. That's what makes materialist reductionism so attractive to you.  It's easy, like the way you wanted the world to be when you were nine or eleven.   But that's not what life is really like. Religion is too complicated for your pleasure.  Religious thinking is too hard, not too simplistic.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Lessons From The Middle of Nowhere Only It's Somewhere And The Lessons Aren't So Little

That Bargain!Shop in that video about panties I posted last night is a real place, you can see it on google whatsit.

The town it's in is Watrous, Saskatchewan

one of those amazing prairie towns that have a small population (about 1860 people) but have a far better range of both services and businesses than you'll find in towns ten times that size in some places here in New England.  They seem to have more of a sense of themselves and their place.   Or that's what it seems form here.  I think we could learn something from them.

And here's Nokomis, population less than 400, from the latest figure I've seen, the home of Little Miss Higgins.

I'm sure it won't look impressive to a city boy but I'm a small-town guy and it looks pretty impressive to me.

And keeping on the small is great idea, here's a film from a house concert that Little Miss Higgins and her partner Floyd Taylor played.  I posted the song yesterday but I like the idea of this kind of music making.  Especially if the musicians get paid.

I really like her more every time I listen to her.  I'm going to try to get some of her albums, maybe all of them.  I hope they're still making music together.   She's the kind of artist who acknowledges and honors the artists who influenced her, especially the great Memphis Minnie.

My Take Away From The Third Debate: Donald Trump Pinned Targets On Us All

You have to wonder how stunningly irresponsible, how stunningly, epically, dangerously irresponsible Donald Trump, his running mate, Mike Pence, his supporters like Rudy Giuliani have to be before the media stops being stunned by it.  It's not as if Donald Trumps most deranged threat against American democracy yet, his "just wait" answer to whether or not he would accept the results of the election, comes out of the blue.   It's the cream of a Republican talking point which has been pushed ever since the ink was dry on the Voting Rights Act.  It was the one of the first bricks in Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy to flip a major region of the country and elsewhere to Republicans.   And I don't mean when The Act was signed, I mean when it was first proposed.  It is a constant theme of white supremacists going back to Hollywood's epic act of endorsing white supremacy, Birth of a Nation in 1915.  The parties switched on white supremacy, though even in the 19th century is was never nation-wide for Democrats what Republicans have made of it in the modern era, beginning after the signing of the Voting Rights Act.   There has been absolutely no rational question but that the two issues have been welded together by over a hundred years of propaganda.  

Only, the Republicans - the only party in the modern era to have taken the presidency as a result of a plainly corrupted election in Florida in 2000 - corrupted by the Jeb Bush administration of that state and five Republican justices on the Supreme Court of the United States to put his brother in the Oval Office - have played both sides of election rigging, with the cooperation of the media, for their own benefit.   

In 2016 election rigging is a Republican policy, mostly by trying to keep Black people and members of other minority groups from voting.  That is as clear as it could possibly be.   Their most important tool in that effort has been the Republican media, hate-talk radio, FOX and the more flaccid repeaters of the "it's being said" racist lines.  

But Donald Trump, losing an election in which he should never have been a candidate, is taking the criminal irresponsibility of Republicans into new levels of danger.   Many of his most fanatical followers are clearly emotionally unstable people with automatic and what is euphemistically called "semi-automatic" guns.  Many of them are crazy people more heavily armed and better able to use them than the shooters in some of our most horrific scenes of mass carnage of the type we've become so corruptly inured to.   It is a certainty that there are people who support Donald Trump who are candidates to commit those kinds of acts around an election.   I did a little exercise asking if he had a million borderline supporters and one or half of one percent of them could be set off by his charging the election had been stolen by rigging, coming up with, 10,000 or 5,0000 possible mass killers.   What if it's a far smaller percent of very potential mass killers who he is talking to?   What do you think would happen if 2,500 or 1,000 or even 250 of them took their open carry or concealed carry weapons to a polling place or just a public plaza or shopping mall?   What if 10 did?   Do you think that some others might not think that this was their call to arms, their moment of "truth",   their imaginary, movie inspired last stand for what they call "freedom" or "justice" and take it as a call to arms?  

Would you want to bet on that being impossible?  Would you want to be in one of the places that is a real possibility - and who knows where the Trump nut who does it would be? 

I have a very dear niece who goes to school in Philadelphia, one of the cities Donald Trump has named as a place where the election will be "rigged".   I can't say how terrifying the prospect of her OR OTHER NIECES, NEPHEWS, SONS, DAUGHTERS, SISTERS, BROTHERS, MOTHERS FATHERS.... GETTING CAUGHT IN DONALD TRUMP'S OBVIOUSLY DESIRED IDEA OF GUN-FIRE GLORY IS.  

The Republican Party has been playing a series of increasingly immoral and irresponsible and entirely dangerous games with our elections for the past fifty-two years.  I can only imagine what the future holds even if we avoid what Trump is obviously trying to gin-up this time.   Eventually people are going to get killed, just as they did in the past when white-supremacists and other racists, bigots, crooks and gangsters did what they're doing and have been doing with the support of a majority of the media.  It's going to stop, if not before the huge catastrophe they've been building to, then in the aftermath when we have to face that this kind of thing can't be allowed to get as far as its gotten. Only a lot of people will die if we let it wait for that. 

Update:  Oh, Stupy and the Eschatots never really read what I wrote so whatever they say about it is just about 100% guaranteed to be wrong.   They're like Donald Trump citing a Pew study.  

Update 2:  If Der Ewige Jude had been made in Hollywood by a producer and director who spoke English they'd probably stick up for it, too.  As it is Birth of a Nation was the same kind of thing that targeted Black Americans by an English speaking director so they figure it's got an exemption from that kind of criticism because it's taught in film courses as great art.  Movie lit is written mostly by white guys so they don't care if it revived the moribund KKK. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Little Miss Higgins - Hope You Don't Feel Blue

Yeah, even more hate mail.

Update:  In the Middle of Nowhere 

I didn't know about Little Miss Higgins until I obsessively watched a bunch of Youtubes about small towns in Saskatchewan.    I believe I read she lives in Nokomis, Saskatchewan.   She's pretty good.

Update 2:   OK,  I'm going to post it without apologies.

Yeah, Hate Mail

Some people seem to think that their sending me stupid things atheists say on the comment threads of blogs I used to frequent will get under my skin.  Only it doesn't.   It was way back when I was first writing for another blog that I learned it all has the potential to be material, something I didn't realize when I chose my theme, the way and reasons that the left which was in its ascendancy in my early years had failed so definitively and abjectly since the mid-1960s.   

When I first started frequenting lefty blogs and websites around the turn of the millennium, I never thought that one of the most obvious lessons I'd read is how many self-defined lefties would prove that they're the reason so many people don't like lefties.   The conceit, the snobbery the regional and class bias, the insistence on so many clearly wrong and irrational dogmas and doctrines inherited from some of the biggest assholes of the allegedly lefty past, etc. were on full display on the blogs and comment threads of so many of them that only an idiot wouldn't have noticed it.  

I mean, really, these guys figured that constantly telling most people that they're stupid, ignorant, benighted fools was the way to convince them to vote to the left.   And that was just the first lesson, eventually I realized they didn't really want the great unwashed to vote left, they merely wanted to be able to lord their superiority over them even as they whined about losing elections.  If it were about winning elections, they'd have learned why that didn't happen.   

Just as much as the Trump voters, large sections of the college credentialed, white-collar (when not unemployed) "left" are stuck in a mental maze of their own making, it's just a different maze.   There might be some partial overlap to reality but, as soon as the election is over, they'll revert to their typical ways which will not help.  No more than when we did that to Jimmy Carter.   Realistic Democrats must realize the problem these people are to them and they've, wisely, though perhaps sadly, decided they will cost them more support than they'll provide in votes.  If you want a reason for why successful Democrats who win elections don't do what you want them to, you'd be wise to consider that they've got to keep or gain more votes than they'll lose and that means you'd better pick which issues you're going to make into a line in the sand.  

But this began with the current e-mail that sent me a comment by a person at one of the typical lefty blogs in which the person says how glad they are when things go wrong because it proves there is no benevolent God, no doubt relieved that he doesn't believe in something so many plebs believe in.  You might think that is unrelated to what I said above but I think it's just one of the overriding characteristics of this snobbery.   Their atheism is, basically, a class distinction, something that distinguishes them from the great-unwashed, the ignorant masses, the unenlightened, benighted, mostly rural, often safely other-regioned hicks and yahoos they  love to imagine as being who the majority of people are.   If there's room at their top, they don't want any of those people up there.  The name for a fear of God or religion, theophobia, isn't so much a fear of God, it's a fear of anything that upsets their status as superior to most people.   It's been like that among many atheists for centuries, which you can see if you read them.  They're flaming snobs, an attitude that doesn't naturally lead to success in democratic politics.  

I have come to the conclusion that the Democrats who win elections are the ones who are the actual farthest left we can achieve at any time, some members of the House, though not those "farthest left" probably define the actual farthest left that our politics will sustain at any given time.   The imaginary left which has never and almost certainly never will control the government or even a municipality, the "left" of the official leftist magazines and the unoffical realm of the lefty blogs, demanding the impossible as they insult possible supporters of the real left who can turn things around are a millstone around the neck of that real left.   The real left has to dump them because they will never be reliable voters and they will insist on insulting and driving away more votes than they'll attract.  That's what I've learned in about the last sixteen years of reading more of "the left" than I ever could have read in the print on paper era.   I suppose I should thank the atheists who are assholes for playing such a big part in my further education in the internet period of my life, but I wouldn't want it to go to their already swollen heads. 

Divest NPR

I would like NPR to tell us what the news value of having the idiots they have on as representative of the American People is supposed to be.    If they want to show what a bunch of lying idiots the Trump voters are, that's what they've shown.  Even some of the Republicans who won't vote for him must realize what idiots the Trump voters are.

The Cuban woman from Orlando on as I type this, whining about voter fraud - mentioning voter fraud by "illegal immigrants" - is especially stupid.   She has a bunch of vague attitudes, not even developed irrational ideas and Steve Inskeep thinks it's worth giving several minutes of her to air her own, unsourced, unsupported notions about a "rigged election".   To have her, the beneficiary of the special rules for Cubans whine about "illegals" is absolutely disgusting.  And having someone as ignorant and stupid as her is about the limit.  

NPR has got to rank as one of the most irresponsible things you could find on the radio dial these days.   They won't go overtly Alex Jones but they'll have Alex Jones content on using the always stupid man on the street dodge.   It's a sign of how stupid James O'Keefe is that he thought they were the opposition when they're just the button down-nose-breather side of his side. 

It would probably be better if NPR would lose all of its public funding and we all face the fact that, barring a major reform of the media, that you're just not going to get reliable news from the American airwaves.   They sold out to the Kochs and big money and the Republican Party back during the Carter administration, if not before.   You just can't trust them.  

NPR is doing exactly the same thing that Paul LePage is doing today, lying about the election that their preferred party and candidate will almost certainly lose is "rigged" so they can damage Hillary Clinton's likely presidency and give the gun carrying, already proven violent Republican-fascist rabble something to use to become even more parnoid and more likely to start killing people.   All of this should be remembered as the shooting starts and when it ends, assuming the fascists don't take power.  All of the institutions that had a hand in this, the media, the individuals in the media, have to have the responsibility for their irresponsibility put on them because they'll never accept it on their own. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Abbey Lincoln - Mr. Tambourine Man

I know the pianist is the great Marc Cary because I found this while looking for recordings with him.
I think the sax player is Julian Lourau, Aaron Walker plays drums and Michael Bowie played bass.   Abbey Lincoln, such a great singer.

Especially Stupid Hate Mail

Simels, that virtual Dictaphone cylinder of the common received Village Voice BS c. 1962 says of my writing, "Abolishing the Fairness Doctrine = crickets."  Which is fully stupid because I've been writing against the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine under Ronald Reagan from before my first blog post mentioning it, by name,  through writing for Echidne of the Snakes - see this post and many others at Echidne's blog with my name or my old pseudonym attached,  and at this blog.  I alluded to it and the other former broadcast requirements in several posts in the past few weeks, including this one, only Simps is too stupid to understand that's what was being talked about.

What is so funny about Stupy accusing me of ignoring that is that his favorite venue for misrepresenting what I write, Eschaton, is owned by a guy who is not so hot on the Fairness Doctrine or other requirements of responsibility placed on the electronic media.   My reading his opposition to it was one of the first things that made me doubt the sincerity of his liberalism or whatever he calls it.   Really, Duncan is a liberalish libertarian, I think if he kept writing, or started to again, eventually he would essentially turn into a Ripon Society type of guy.   Only I think most of them probably thought that things like the Fairness Doctrine were necessary, suspecting that Herbert Hoover was right about the potential of the electronic media, radio, back then, to corrupt The People.  It's about the only thing he was right about.

The Fairness Doctrine, necessary is it was and desireable as it still is, doesn't go nearly far enough.  Lots of times there are not two true sides of an issue, there is one true side and lies and if you told the truth, under "Fairness" you would just have to let the liars tell their side of things.   Of course that's the opposite of what happened when the Fairness Doctrine was killed by the Reagan administration, they told the lies and didn't broadcast the truth.   "Fairness" doesn't apply to lies, there is nothing "fair" about broadcasting a lie, even if a large number of people believe the lie.   The same was true of the old "equal-time" rule and other substitutes for making the most powerful, influential and profitable media serve the common interest in a democracy instead of attacking the common good for the profit of the owners, the advertisers and those with wealth and power, in general.

It turns out that the 18th century aristocrats who wrote the Bill of Rights were the actual neophytes they were and their document doesn't serve the needs of us, well more than two-hundred years later, their manual press thinking about media has been made quaintly irrelevant in the 21st century.   Especially when you've got a number of sleaze ball lawyers, writers, publishers and media owners who have every interest in making the media into something more akin to what was envisioned by Orwell than what Jefferson so romantically presented it as being.   The 18th century "enlightenment" was, in fact, an entirely romantic notion which not long after it became the preferred framing of the intellectual class proved itself to be entirely unrealistic when real people with real lives in real societies in the real world had to try to live with their silliness.  Only, under our own silliness, promoted by the very media which is anything but enlightened, we are all supposed to pretend that the glaring inadequacies of it aren't there, even as they turn us into a country that could elect Donald Trump in a few weeks or, alternatively, could be under full automatic weapons attack from whatever fraction of his true believers he could encourage to start shooting.  As I've mentioned before, they're already doing trial runs with the full throated approval of the unregulated media.

Hate Mail - Liberals Have Been Played For The Biggest Patsies In History

You guys think you are friggin' geniuses but you're too stupid to see what's so blindingly obvious.   Before the Sullivan decision, if liberal politicians were libeled on local, state and national radio or TV or in print, they could sue.  And the people who owned and made money off of the media knew that. If the liberals they lied about won they could force a retraction and they could cause pain to the one who lied about them.   THAT HAD AN INHIBITING EFFECT ON OUTRIGHT LYING THAT WASN'T THERE AFTER THE SULLIVAN DECISION AND THE MEDIA STARTED LYING ABOUT LIBERALS.  Unsurprisingly, considering that, Nixon won the election after the Sullivan decision that he didn't win before it, and he was the beginning of the Republican-fascist ascendancy that we are still in.   If the Sullivan decision had not been issued, if it were possible for liberals to sue media liars, things would be a lot different.

If you point out that liberal media could have been sued for lying, two points I DON'T WANT THE FRIGGIN' "LIBERAL MEDIA" LYING EVEN WHEN DOPES LIKE YOU THINK THOSE LIES WOULD FAVOR US, REALITY IS REAL, LIES ONLY BENEFIT LIARS.  Second, the "liberal media" is a joke both in size and in political effect.  The best of it has nugatory effect, though it can have an effect when it promotes such stupid ideas as the idea that "our liars" are good liars.  

On top of that AS MENTIONED HERE CONTINUALLY SINCE THIS BLOG BEGAN, media deregulation has allowed them to lie about issues without having to present the refutation of those lies.   Media which did that before the Reagan administration could have lost its license to broadcast and it was the lying cabloid media that could get away with it.  And in the aftermath of the Reagan administration demolition of those obligations broadcast media went full cabloid just as the broadsheets went ever fuller tabloid.  And the increasingly conservative courts used the very language of the "free speech" industry to dismantle any obligations that the media had to not lie and to do other such things as give people accurate information in order for them to do things LIKE NOT VOTE FOR A FRAUDULENT AND DERANGED FASCIST DEMAGOGUE INVENTED AND PROMOTED BY THE DEREGULATED MEDIA.   

George Orwell would be continually shooting himself in the head if he could see how thoroughly and successfully propagandized and indoctrinated the alleged liberal class was when they were the primary victims of the regime of "free press-free speech" of the type bull-shit peddlers like Nat Hentoff and Joel Gora sold them on - both of them with financial and professional reasons to peddle the nonsense that has freed the media to create Donald Trump - and if Trump fails to both destroy a president Hillary Clinton or to prevent her having a full presidency just as it has Barack Obama and to replace her with another fascist demagogue such as also ran for the Republican nomination this year.  Cruz in 2020 Or Kaisich or any of the others will start being pushed by the very freed media as soon as the election is called.   And that is if their freed "press" in the form of hate-talk radio and the cabloid led TV media don't incite the civil war replay that the real and lasting beneficiaries of program of media libertarianism and such legal rulings as the Sullivan decision.   The very same judges and justices who made those decisions have also allowed the paranoid neo-fascists to amass what is, in effect, one of the largest arsenals held in the history of mankind.  Liberals would be entirely outgunned in a real, shooting war.   That's not a paranoid fantasy.   They've had more than one Harpers Ferry for fascism, already. 

Update:  There is a particularly stupid habit of speech that replaces argument among the stupidest of pseudo-liberals, to pretend that if something didn't have total and complete success in preventing bad behavior that means that it should be abolished.   Stupy is arguing that since the media sometimes lied before the Sullivan decision that means that permitting the media to lie with impunity was a good idea.  Well, people get murdered all the time, I'll bet if you allowed people to murder with impunity that it would do nothing to lower the murder rate.  In fact, getting away with impunity is what murderers seem to often rely on happening.  

Really, you guys are just stupid in a slightly different way from the people you love to look down on. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why The President Should Be Barred From Smoking Pot By Law

I voted early, I didn't want to wait to vote for Hillary Clinton, Chellie Pingree... a straight Democratic ticket.   I expected to go in and have it take about two minutes, only there were so many people voting early that I had to wait in two lines.   I hope that's a good sign. 

Among the other things I voted for, weighted voting, a minimum wage rise, and other measures was the decriminalization of marijuana.    It's not that I'm especially pro-pot, I stopped using pot in the late 1960s because I realized it screwed up my playing.   I might be the only person to have been convinced by studying Milton Babbitt's Post-Partitions to give up pot.  

But I am in favor of one person in the United States being forbidden, by law, to smoke pot and that's the President of the United States,  well, anyone with the power to launch nuclear missiles.   It was Gary Johnson who convinced me that having a pot-head as president was a really terrible idea.  I mean, the guy is the worst advertisement for weed I've ever seen, he's like a remake of Reefer Madness all by himself.  If you haven't been convinced of that, watch this again. 

Atenas Ourkouzounov - Molitva

Atenas Ourkouzounov, guitar

From doing a web-search I believe "molitva" means "prayer".   Note that this piece was composed in 2004 and doesn't seem to have any relationship to the later pop song that won in the Eurovision contest several years later.

One of the things about the current generation of guitar composers music seems to be a far greater use of harmonics, both natural and artificial to extend the range of the instrument, both the expressive range and the actual pitch range of the instrument.  I would guess that it forces or is a result of greater technical mastery of that capacity.  It seems to me that when musicians discover new possibilities for making sounds with their instruments that the ability to include that sound in their music will be irresistible, especially to the most skilled composers for it.  

I don't know why I haven't used SoundCloud music files before.  I'll probably post more of them in the future. Though I can't seem to get this one to end where it should so you might get it continuing to something else after it's over. 

Hate Mail

It is so telling that the free speech absolutists can't abide someone saying that it is their theory that allowed the cabloid and hate-talk radio haters to do things like make the word "liberal" a dirty word, convince millions that Hillary Clinton was the devil incarnate and that huge numbers of automatic weapons and vast stores of ammunition were necessary for even the most mentally unstable of their listeners to protect themselves and their families from the imminent danger that she and liberals posed to them. 

Apparently the "free speech - free press" industry can abide vast networks blaring and hardly covert advocacy for violence among the paranoiacs they created can't abide someone pointing out how they were allowed to do that by claiming the "first amendment" gave us no choice.   Well, I'm going to say that even if we're lucky and dodge the hail of automatic weapons fire this time, the guns are there, the paranoiacs are still there and FOX, CNN, hate-talk radio and the messaging that created Donald Trump are still in place, up and running us into hell.   It's only a matter of time before that happens. 

And it's the self-appointed civil-libertarians who complain when someone points out that is the direct result of their work. 

You can't have democracy in a peaceful, decent society when that society is fed on a diet of violent lies.

If Donald Trump's current poll numbers are an accurate representation of his support, how many tens of millions of people does that represent?   I ask that as a question because I don't know how MANY tens of millions that figure would be, though I'm certain it is measurable in tens of millions, adding up to perhaps more than a hundred million.  Of that hundred million, now many do you think really mean it, that they support his calls for violence and his ever more explicit suggestions of assassinating people if he loses the election?   One percent?   Half of one percent?   One percent of one million is 10,000.   What do you really think would happen if half of that number took up arms against the elected government of the United States?  It would certainly not be localized in one region of the country.   With the modern weapons that the Supreme Court has allowed free sale in this country, how many people do you think they could kill in a day?  A week?  However long it took to reestablish order?   That is if the very libertarians on the courts allowed it.  And, don't for a second believe that the lawyers and liars in the media who have lied us into this potential for disaster wouldn't be fighting against what needed to be done to reestablish order.   This is a situation that has been building in explicit talk among Republicans for decades now, there has been no secret about it and the very same lawyers and liars have only been encouraging it.  There is every reason to believe that those white-collared, well manicured people wouldn't mind what could result from their advocacy.

Even the newspapers are beginning to take seriously the possibility that the Trump supporters could turn to violent insurrection and assassination if he loses the election.  And that is a real possibility.  After years of telling people that those guys weren't assembling enormous personal arsenals and stashes of ammunition like some people collected Cabbage Patch Dolls it has to be pointed out, a serious number of them were collecting them to use, specifically against us.

This election cycle started out with virtually all of the professional journalists, in print, broadcast and cabloid, breezily dismissing the potential of the TV created fascist strong-man Der CEO Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination, only to see his TV trained audience easily hand him the nomination of one of the two real parties in the United States.  It continued, even when the spectacle of him calling on his thuggish supporters to beat up protesters as part of his stump speechifying, them lazily covering him as if he were just another candidate instead of the overt fascist strongman he was running as.  It has continued to facilitate his climb to very possibly becoming President of the United States and is, today.   At every step American journalism, as defined by American journalists has let down the American Peoples' right to accurate information which would enable them to reject a violent lunatic, one of the easiest choices to reject in the history of presidential politics.

We didn't get here by accident, all of this is entirely predictable and you don't even have to use very sophisticated thinking to have anticipated the results of the legal regime that has permitted the media to lie and to distort reality for its own profit and the profit of the upper class that journalists and their publishers either are members of or that they aspire to enter.   If nothing else then reporters, columnists and other members of that profession know who they work for and what those always rich people always want.   The media, including journalists, produced Donald Trump by producing his audience of angry, entitled white men and the women who were enticed into believing the fictitious substance of his PR was real.   NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and the other network executives and creative staff who created the public persona of Donald Trump were also creating his audience, they are in the business of creating demand, everything they do is in line with the practices of public relations and the advertising industry.

But they were enabled by the older media, print media, the "free speech" industry, that combination of professional writers and publishers, their hired lawyers and, as the shtick caught on, law professors and judges who played one of the most dangerous games of "let's pretend" in our history.   Make no mistake about this, we have a large cohort of professional, white-collar people who, when it comes right down to it, don't have much of a problem with fascism.   This will be presented as a "redneck" "blue-collar" "ignorant hillbilly" problem but the problem started in elite law schools, elite law firms, such groups as the ACLU and in courtrooms and judges chambers, most of all in the Supreme Court.

You can't have democracy in a peaceful, decent society when that society is fed on a diet of violent lies, you can't have democracy when the worst inclinations of people are pandered to 24-7 in the mass media or even local media.  We have a choice to make and there is every indication that our media, ever mindful of its own interest will betray the common good as it consistently has.   Obviously the choices made by that class since the 1960s didn't bring the more decent society they promised, it has brought us to the edge of catastrophe.   If Trump loses, even if he loses 40-60%, a landslide that no one I'm reading expects, it won't mean we're safe, it means that we narrowly averted disaster this once.   As the very same media attack Hillary Clinton and her administration we could face far worse in four years.   Ted Cruz and the other likely candidates in 2020 are slightly different in style, none of them are different in intent or content.   And, who knows, maybe Donald Trump will get his way and his followers will start killing people next month, within weeks.  The first thing that has to be done is to force the broadcast and cabloid media to stop lying to his dangerous supporters, telling them what they want to hear.  Only the courts won't let that happen.

This entire line of thinking couldn't possibly have been more obviously insane, from the start.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Atanas Ourkouzounov - Trois Dimensions Modales

Thierry BÉGIN-LAMONTAGNE, guitar

This could stand as a quite substantial sonatina if Ourkouzounov had wanted to call it that.   It's quite a fine set of pieces.

What Can Happen After You Stop Being Afraid And Think

This week's On Being program is an interesting interview with Mary Karr, whose writing I have to confess I'm entirely unfamiliar with, other than having read the titles of a couple of them.  I may get around to reading her now that I've found out she's got more in her head than many of the other writers you'll see on the best sellers list.  We have had very different lives but there is a lot of overlap in later life experience.   The interview is worth listening to and reading but there are a couple of points I wanted to comment on.

MS. TIPPETT: Yeah. You made this kind of public confession of your Catholicism in Poetry Magazine in 2005, and you write about how poetry always seemed intellectually respectable where religion wasn’t, right?

DR. KARR: Oh, yeah. I mean, yeah, being a Catholic is like being, you know...

MS. TIPPETT: [laughs] Right.

DR. KARR: ...oh my god. It was shameful.

MS. TIPPETT: Yeah. So confessing your Catholicism in Poetry Magazine was...

DR. KARR: Oh yeah. It was anathema. I mean, that’s where T. S. Eliot first published “Prufrock.” That’s where all the dark and French-influenced symbolistes for the past century blazed a trail into existential misery. [laughs] I mean, for me to come in and be Catholic — oh my god, it’s bad enough being a Texan, and then a redneck, and then not educated, and then this just proved out all my detractors, you know?

MS. TIPPETT: [laughs] OK. Here’s what you wrote. “To confess my unlikely Catholicism in poetry feels” — I think we can put this on public radio — “feels like an act of perversion kinkier than any dominatrix could manage on HBO’s Real Sex Extra.” [laughs]

DR. KARR: [laughs] I forgot I wrote that. Gosh. How dare I?

MS. TIPPETT: But there is such — what’s the word I want to use — I mean, poetry and prayer and liturgy are so much of a piece, right? I mean, they’re so kindred to each other and...

DR. KARR: I mean, I remember when I first went to the Catholic church, which I did — I took my son; he was the one who wanted to go to church. And I sat with a stack of papers and graded them in the back. I had a latte. I’m not even making this up. I brought a latte. I sat in the back and...


DR. KARR: ...he was in Sunday school, and I was just cynically there marking time. And something about the faith of the people — it wasn’t the spectacle, or the — Walter Pater and all those esthetes always talked about the grandeur, and the ritual, and all the gold stuff, and all of that — none of that I cared about. I mean, I care about it more now maybe just ‘cause I’ve gotten used to it, but at the time, I was kind of repelled by it.

But just people saying their prayers, people saying, “Please pray for my daughter who’s having surgery,” people bringing hope and terror into a public forum and saying, “I’m afraid, and I need these things to happen in order to go on.” And isn’t that what poetry is? I mean, poetry is that place where the most disturbed among us try to find the most exalted language to convey those hopes and those despairs or that desperation.

Yeah, there is that, of course, and it is just about the most important thing in religion but notice that part about intellectual respectability.   We all want intellectual respectability, it's one of those things we have to have to even be listened to by respectable people.   But there is something really telling in this passage.  It's kind of peculiar, that Catholicism or Christianity would be seen as intellectually suspect among alleged intellectuals.   An allegedly intellectual milieu could maintain that attitude only if it were profoundly ignorant of the history of Western thought and the history of the very institutions that credential people into intellectual respectability.  And it's been my experience that atheism is, in almost all cases, profoundly ignorant in exactly that way.

It's a matter of historical fact that Catholics invented the university and scholarship in Western Europe, most of the major educational institutions before the rise of public schools universities in the United States, were founded by religious institutions, indeed even many a bastion of current atheism are located in colleges with names of saints, religious entities or denominations.   It has been one of the most absurd aspects of pseudo-intellectual atheism that that history is unrealized or unknown by even such as get to be considered intellectually respectable in the anti-religious, allegedly intellectual milieu that holds that idea.  Historically, about the only rivals they might have in the invention of universities are Muslims.   Universities originated as religious institutions.

But even more so is the pretense of such would-be intellectuals that they are above the common lot of people and that they have coping mechanisms, safely atheist and anti-religious, that provide superior ways of dealing with the suffering of life.   But they don't.  All you have to do is read what atheists who have to face those very same life crises say.  And even facing the day to day problems of life, atheism proves it does not have superior ways of living with and coping with them.   There is a reason that atheists have higher rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug use.*  Atheism doesn't work for that, it is merely a mechanism of denial, people need more than that to get through life.  The realities of human life are not solved by the materialism of atheism, materialism is about the worst means of understanding or dealing with life as it really is lived.

But this passage in the transcript was even more interesting to me because it, also, matches my very different experience from Mary Karr's.

DR. KARR: It was all very groovy kind of new-agey. Resurrection was starting over in some kind of hippy-dippy way. And in Ignatian spirituality there’s a thing you do where you compose a scene with your body with all the senses that composes — the way St. Ignatius writes about it, it’s like, if you’re at the nativity, if you’re at the crucifixion, what can you smell? What do you touch? What does the cloth feel like on your skin? What do you hear? What do you feel? You try to put yourself bodily — using your senses into passages from the scripture.

It’s a very powerful practice to take a passage from a scripture and try to ask the Holy Spirit to put you somewhere, to place your mind and your senses in another place. I mean, it’s a very radical, dangerous kind of prayer to make, and I did this over 30 weeks and they give you a lot of different methods of prayer and somewhere in there all of the stuff that had been metaphorical became very actual for me. The idea of my sense of Jesus — I didn’t like Jesus when I became Catholic. I came in on the Holy Spirit.

And then I got that sense of Jesus that — I just noticed that the people who are always running the soup kitchens, and taking care of the babies from El Salvador, and bringing in orphans, doing all the good stuff, and who don’t seem really angry and crazy and kind of pissed off and really pious — they seem kind of realistic — always talked about Jesus all the time. So I thought, “I’ve got to get on this Jesus boat. I’ve got to get with this Jesus program.”

And somewhere in there, I just found that I was able to practice it. Do I doubt? All the time. Sure, there are days that I wake up — I mean, to me, being a Catholic is like any spiritual practice. It’s a practice. It’s not something you believe. It’s not doctrine. Doctrine has nothing to do with it. It’s a set of actions.


DR. KARR: Everybody talks about the doctrine. Do you believe in this? Do you believe in that? What do you do on a day? Do you get on your knees? Do you try to practice charity? Do you try to apologize for your mistakes? Are you trying to live a life that is less shameful than the one the day before? [laughs]

That reminds me of nothing so much as an argument I read and participated in a few years back,  I think it was on one of the CFI blogs in which the topic was whether or not atheists should start to get involved in charity. To start with, there were regulars there who were offended that someone had brought up something so vulgar and irrelevant to their atheism - by which I am certain they really meant something so inconvenient which might lead to them having to put out some money or effort on behalf of other people.  But it also struck me that these almost uniformly college-educated, many of them PhDed, folk were debating among themselves if they should start to involve themselves in charitable activities which, in religion, predate Jesus.  They were actually debating if they should consider thinking about starting to do what the Poor Clares and myriad other religious organizations had been doing for centuries, doing the very same thing that one of their heroes, Christopher Hitchens kicked around a little old nun for trying to do for decades.   And they were such miserable assholes as they debated it.  Why would anyone want to be part of that?  The cheap and crappy pleasure of believing you were one of that self-appointed elite?   That is about as impressive as those followers of Jerry Falwell who declared themselves reborn and saved.   Or any other allegedly religious people who did that kind of thing.

I wasn't brought back to Chritianity by dogma or doctrine, I was brought back to it by seeing Christians feed people, clothe people, care for sick people, especially miserable, destitute poor people.  I was brought back by realizing that it had actually been the source of the liberalism I believed in as both the right way to live and as a practical means of ensuring a decent society and, possibly, a means of saving us from the horrific predicament we had gotten ourselves into with nuclear missiles pointed at us, global warming and other environmental crimes an the increasing savagery of materialistic governments during the past century and a half.   For me it is practically demonstrated that atheism had nothing in it to compel people to act unselfishly enough to save us, the pose of being frozen in agnostic indecision wasn't much better - though agnostics are less likely to be fanatical about denying the possibility that we are more than automatons which don't matter so we might as well blow it all.   I don't see any evidence, at all, that those are compatible with either a decent society or survival.

In one of his lectures which I've posted in the past few weeks, Walter Brueggemann talks about how after he'd written an article critical of the Jesus Seminar one of the janitors at the Seminary where he taught came up and asked him what this argument about the eschatological content of the Gospels was about.  Brueggemann, in telling the anecdote mentioned how John Dominic Crossen found a Jesus who was a lot like him and a lot less like the janitor.   The janitor said that if things weren't going to be made right, in the end, that people like him were sunk, that they would never see justice, that they would have lived their lives of struggle and misery for nothing.

It's a lot easier to be an atheist or agnostic or deist if you are or can aspire to be materially comfortable and you are willing to pad yourself with comforts when the hard knocks of life come to you.   If you don't, really, care about other people, other beings, it's a lot easier.  I think a lot of the reason that so many atheists are such miserable people is because they are emotionally superior to their ideology and they don't find it really works in their lives but they are either too conceited to give it up or too afraid of the bullying disdain of respectable atheists to give it up.  I found myself in the 1990s unafraid of them, anymore.  That was the start of things for me.   In studying atheism and its assertions and the consequences of materialism, I found that it doesn't work and that it is the source of so much of what is destroying us.  I've found that even those who really believed in the Gospel with their work, with their actions, even if we disagreed on some points, are a lot farther ahead than the atheists who deny it.

I am sure Mary Karr wouldn't have put it in the same way I did, as I said, our backgrounds are very different.  But we came out in remarkably similar places.  It was seeing the example of "church ladies" putting their lives where their mouths were that forced me to see what was right there all along.

* If you google the topics, you will find that the search engine has been obviously google bombed to produce a long list of atheists dismissing the statistical results that show that to be the case.   I've found, especially in the last two to three years that there has been an obvious campaign to distort these and just about every issue around atheism in that way.   I've written about such efforts as those of Susan Gerbic and Tim Farley to turn internet bots and things like Wikipedia into propaganda tool of atheism.   That they have to do that is just more evidence of the anti-intellectualism at the heart of ideological atheism.   The extent to which something has to resort to that is the extent to which it doesn't deserve to be intellectually respectable.