Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Raymond Chandler - The Long Goodbye

The Idiotic Satisfaction of Believing Your Opponents Are Stupid Only Hurts You

I made a comment somewhere that an early chance to damage Republicans is in Donald Trump's promise to protect Social Security and Medicare running into Paul Ryan's clear fetish for destroying them, in line with his real God, Ayn Rand's psychotic commandments.   I pointed out that a large number of old people were suckered into voting for Trump and this is a chance to point out to them that their choice has real effects in their lives if Trump breaks that campaign promise, which he seems to be ready to.

Well, after making an obvious point I got flack asserting that Trump voters were so stupid they wouldn't know that this wasn't something to do with Obamacare - how they are supposed to mistake Social Security for Obamacare, I can't imagine someone imagining.    I suppose the message of the lefties making that argument was it wasn't worth trying to use that as a political weapon, one which could split the Republicans in congress who, I am sure, would not want to face the backlash of angry seniors and others facing the prospect of losing their two major lifelines and millions of their children who know those are the only thing between their parents being somewhat independent and being dependent on them.

I don't know if such people don't know old people but the ones I know - being in that age cohort, myself, know which side their Social Security is buttered on and if there is a way to rouse them to oppose politicians it's by endangering those programs.   It might be satisfying in a smug and useless way to believe that older Trump voters are too stupid to know that but it's politically useless and almost certainly wrong. 

Democrats have few options for fighting Paul Ryan and the other Republicanfascists and will need to use whatever they can, passing up this chance would be massively stupid. 

I will do something! The poor are mistreated and helpless people moan. Psalm 12

12 Please help me, Lord!
    All who were faithful
    and all who were loyal
    have disappeared.
2 Everyone tells lies,
    and no one is sincere.
3 Won’t you chop off
all flattering tongues
    that brag so loudly?
4 They say to themselves,
“We are great speakers.
    No one else has a chance.”
5 But you, Lord, tell them,
    “I will do something!
The poor are mistreated
and helpless people moan.
    I’ll rescue all who suffer.”
6 Our Lord, you are true
    to your promises,
and your word is like silver
    heated seven times
    in a fiery furnace.
7 You will protect us
    and always keep us safe
    from those people.
8 But all who are wicked
    will keep on strutting,
    while everyone praises
    their shameless deeds.

Contemporary English Version

I wish I could find or make a comparison between the Jewish scriptures and the pagan and other scriptures for how many times they call for justice to the destitute, the poor, the outsiders, the despised as opposed to being praise or support for the economic, political and religious elites.  My guess is that there is a hands-down win for the Jewish scriptures being on the side of the disadvantaged by that measure.  

Under JamesComey The FBI Is Promoting Sedition And Putting Us At The Greatest Risk We've Been In

It should seem like I'm beating a dead horse in bringing up James Comey and his criminalized FBI at this point but, unfortunately, that horse is very much alive and will certainly thrive in its crime spree as it joins in further thwarting democracy in the United States.

Some of the analysis of the election speculates that his letter issued eleven days before the election was enough to swing enough narrow majorities in enough states to give the loser of the popular vote the election.   I don't see any reason to assume that is a certainty and, most of all that that wasn't exactly the effect that James Comey and his criminalized FBI agents intended their activities to have.

This is, of course, exactly the kind of behavior you expect to see in a fascist police state, the police power of the federal and local governments being used to benefit the fascist party.   And with this election, the real nature of the Republican Party is clear.  

James Comey obviously loves to present himself as a true-blue boy scout when he is a sleazy political thug.   The media, of course, presents him as he would like, they are part of the con game. 

The thing is, this FBI has and will almost certainly support the biggest security risk we've ever had in the highest office of the country, their boss, the man who will appoint people who will run the very agencies of government which would guard against such sedition as his election risks.  I don't think we've ever been this vulnerable in our entire history, not even during and after the Civil War.  And the FBI under James Comey is entirely involved in creating and endorsing it.   

I choose the word "sedition" carefully because what they are doing is the ultimate sedition of undermining democracy.  That needs to be a crime and considering how bad it is, it should carry a life sentence. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hate Mail - Imagine a Cynical Old Sophisticate Poseur Like You Turning Out To Have A Head Full of Corn Syrupy Nougat

There is real sentimentality but that's an honest experience that individual people can have about things they've actually experienced in real life and people they've really known, especially their life with their family and friends.  Real sentimentality is a private emotion it's not for a mass audience. That's an important part of the distinction.  That's not what I'm criticizing,  I completely respect that.

There is also an artificial kind of sentimentality that Hollywood movies, television, musical comedy specialize in and that is a cheap, commercialized, cloying substitute for the real thing, peddled to a mass audience.   The techniques of that are the bread and butter of many movie composers and virtually all directors.  The more accomplished ones can juxtapose that with the equally artificial means of rousing cheap patriotism or cheap faith or cheap sex or any of the other cheap versions of emotions Hollywood has always been in the BUSINESS of creating for a profit. 

There is a real distinction to be made between the kind of cheap sentimentalization and watered down emotion of most movie making and the expressive heightening of emotional content and meaning that real art engages in.   The one is why I hated the movie that turned the story into a horse-opera and love the real opera that presented the tragedy of Annie Proulx's story with far greater fidelity to her art and also the art of the real composer.  

You can consume cheapened, watered down crap if you want to but I can note the difference between that and real art if I want to.  It's a free country, for a few more weeks, at least.   I'd say, "grow up" but I think it's probably far too late for that. 

Charles Wuorinen - Psalm 39 - For I am a stranger with thee : and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

Thomas Meglioranza, baritone
William Anderson, guitar

I SAID, I will take heed to my ways : that I offend not in my tongue.

2 I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle : while the ungodly is in my sight.

3 I held my tongue, and spake nothing : I kept silence, yea, even from good words; but it was pain and grief to me.

4 My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing the fire kindled : and at the last I spake with my tongue;

5 Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days : that I may be certified how long I have to live.

6 Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long : and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily every man living is altogether vanity.

7 For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain : he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.

8 And now, Lord, what is my hope : truly my hope is even in thee.

9 Deliver me from all mine offences : and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish.

10 I became dumb, and opened not my mouth : for it was thy doing.

11 Take thy plague away from me : I am even consumed by the means of thy heavy hand.

12 When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment : every man therefore is but vanity.

13 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling : hold not thy peace at my tears.

14 For I am a stranger with thee : and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

15 O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength : before I go hence, and be no more seen.

Book of Common Prayer

Hate Mail - They Just Hate It When You Diss The Venerable New York Times

There should be a name for the New York Times endorsing Hillary Clinton after decades of publishing Maureen Dowd's mean-girl Hillary hatred, the numerous false articles claiming she was about to be indicted, of spearheading the ridiculous 1990s Clinton "scandals" one after another.

What the pimps for the Republican discrediting of Hillary Clinton, the genteel, respectable spreaders of false rumors and innuendo against her, creating a vague feeling of distrust and disdain that is the sum total of so many peoples' knowledge of her and her career, ... what they did in finally endorsing her against, literally, the worst candidate in the history of modern presidential politics is called



Walter Brueggemann Is About As Good As Anyone On Why And How Things Are Going To Hell All Around Us

You can't say people weren't giving us fair warning about how and why we were on the edge of the disaster we have certainly fallen into.

From 2010, Walter Brueggemann's lectures at Baylor University. Truett Theological Seminary on Prophetic Preaching.   While all of them are worth listening to many times, Session Two is especially relevant and powerful,

On Second Hearing

If you only saw the movie and didn't read the story,  Brokeback Mountain,  you should read Annie Proulx's story.   Charles Wuorinen was telling the truth when he said the story as written by her was entirely better than the movie (which I confess, I really, really didn't like).  And, composed to her libretto, the opera is far more faithful to the story and its world than anything Hollywood is going to put out.  You might not take to the musical style but if you can enter into it Wuorinen gets the lives and minds of the characters, the landscape and the society they faced into your mind with incredible intensity. I don't usually want to own a DVD of an opera but this one is a real exception.  

The Republicans Have Elected The Biggest Risk To National Security In Our History As President

This morning, the Washington Post reports that, as many of us believed, the Trump campaign was at least party directed from within the Russian dictatorship.

Russian government officials conferred with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday, a disclosure that could reopen scrutiny of the Kremlin’s role in the president-elect’s bitter race against Hillary Clinton.

The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Ryabkov said.

“We have just begun to consider ways of building dialogue with the future Donald Trump administration and channels we will be using for those purposes,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

This while Donald Trump is also known to owe large amounts of money to the billionaires who are, in fact if not on paper, a part of the Putin regime.  

If I were the leader of any country which was in danger by the plans of the Putin regime, I would immediately limit any contact between my intelligence agencies and the American ones.  And a number of those countries are the focus of Putin's destabilization.   He is probably the greatest financial backer of many neo-Nazi and fascist movements in Europe.

There can be no rational doubt that Donald Trump and his people are a unique danger to our national security, one which isn't merely alleged to be located in the State Department but one who will inhabit the Oval Office making appointment and policy.  Any American intelligence agents or officials who aren't corrupt in the way the FBI obviously is must be really worried about what will happen to our national security now, even as the pantomime of peaceful transfer of power is happening.  There must certainly be some of those who actually feel the patriotism that so many in Washington merely pose as having in the tawdry tableau that our civic pageant is now.

Will any of them leak evidence that Trump and his people are passing on intelligence to the Putin regime?  I am certain that's exactly what some of our European allies (for now) will be worried about.  I have no doubt many of them will be gathering intelligence on Donald Trump, his wife (her father was a Communist) and others within the Trump inner circle because they will want to know as much about their contacts with Russia and who knows who else holds paper on Trump.  

If any of them leak it, will the cabloid and hate-talk media shout down the evidence, swamp it even as it is reported by the paper relics?   They are the most effective source of this betrayal of America. That was almost inevitable, you can't serve the oligarchs and democracy.  That should have become apparent in allegedly post-communist Russia, it is certainly apparent here.  Our media chooses to serve oligarchy because that's what corporations were invented to do.

No, You Can't Unite With Lies and Greed And Cruelty Without Promoting It And Those Are The Definition of Evil

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.   Matthew 7:12

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.  Matthew 25:40

In those two verses are contained the absolute defense against lie already being told, that what the Republicans will do to the country and the world is a manifestation of Christianity.  What they will do, what they have done is a complete repudiation of Christianity.  Any assertions that anyone who does that does so out of Christianity lies about its identity.  If you want to put it in biblical terms, what they will claim to be Christian is actually anti-Christian.  Since the first of those is contained in Leviticus, it is actually as profoundly anti-Jewish.  

That, of course, won't stop the atheists, the anti-Christian antagonists from pursuing their real prime directive, to turn everything into a weapon against religion, primarily Christianity, when it is exactly from the scriptures that the strongest condemnation of what is done in its name is to be found.  

But this isn't intended as primarily a defense of the Jewish-Christian scriptures, some other scriptures of other religions contain the same substance, though not all religions do.  When it says in the scriptures that God will write the Law on our hearts, I don't think he'd leave out any of us. Maybe if he said it today he'd say that he'd encode it in our DNA, though I don't, not for a second, believe that moral awareness is found in the DNA or in the physical brain.  That is an atheist superstition.  

The call from the very media that carried and promoted every lie about Hillary Clinton is now mouthing the civic piety that uniting under the winner of the electoral college is what we are to do.  I will point out that they don't seem to feel any such need to do that when it is a Democrat who wins, not only the electoral college but also the popular vote and even a majority of the popular vote such as Barack Obama did.  In his case it was he who was to come together with Republicans even as they immediately used racism and everything else to sandbag him, just as they sandbagged Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.   

The American media is a lie machine and now even the stupidest liberal who mouthed the equally empty civic piety of "free speech absolutism" has a full display of the result of their great virtue.  The person who is probably the most competent and prepared candidate for the presidency and beyond any doubt one whose adherence with the law has been tested for a quarter of a century with tens of millions of dollars spent testing her by her opponents, was rejected for this massively corrupt, massively unprepared Trump.  That is a direct result of the media being free to tell every lie that the Republican-fascist lie machine could dream up to tell about her.  To that media which now mouths those empty civic pities I say go to hell, I hope you are among the first to find yourselves experiencing such results of you self-serving theory of the deeply flawed First Amendment.  And you just might, those of you who had the notion of reporting facts.  In a regime of liars it's the truth that is banned, lies are rewarded.  It's your colleagues who are the liars who will prosper, you are their suckers, their chumps, even as you preen in your assumed erudition, you got taken like the dopes you really are. 

You don't come together and make common cause with the enemies of the truth, the enemies of decency, the enemies of the common good.   You might pray for them to see the evil of their ways but you don't pray for their success in carrying out that evil, you don't make it easier for them to do that evil.  This is not a time for mild mannered platitudes, this is a time to learn from the Church of resistance, the church of the Liberation Theologians, the church which opposed the Nazis.  For anyone who is still stupid enough to think that's overwrought and unsettling language,  I have complete confidence that Americans who speak English can do the same things that people who speak other languages can do in the way of evil, they have been signaling their intention to do that at Trump rallies WITH HIS ENCOURAGMENT for the past two years.  Now that they have power I doubt they or the judges and justices they appoint will allow their grasp on power to be challenged.  Trump admires Putin, among the most successful political murderers outside of official Communist governments.  There is every reason to attribute that same attitude to his political supporters.  Republicans who opposed him and announced their refusal to vote against him and for Hillary Clinton are the only ones who don't deserve to be tarred with his bullying, threatening proclamations.  

It all come from the lies that the free press, the free media freely told about Hillary Clinton for the past two decades.  Donald Trump is a creation of that media, his candidacy was advanced with the billions of dollars worth of free airtime they gave him, those patterns persisted even as they were forced to talk about his sleaziness because that is who he is.  Now they will try to gild the turd that he is and there will be an effective margin of people who will pretend that the turd is solid gold.  Those will mostly be found among those who voted for him, I doubt anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton will buy the crap, they're the ones who are already resistant to that particular line of lying.  Actually the only ones who will change their ideas are those who voted for Trump as they experience and observe what he really does in office. 

The real civic virtue of those of us who voted for Hillary Clinton is not in coming together, it is to resist in every way we can find, to constantly and persistently point out the crimes of Trump, his regime and the Republican-fascist party which installed him in office.  We have to reject the media that promoted him.   The cabloids - yes, including MSNBC which maintains that night-time liberal ghetto slot while most people are watching sports and sitcoms and cop operas - hate-talk radio, the broadcast and the relic of the ink on paper media all brought us here.

The stinking, poxed pimp of power, the New York Times has more responsibility for producing the Trump Presidency than most.  It endorsed the competent candidate, in the end but that is after decades of publishing hit pieces on her that the real media with a political impact, the electronic media, parroted and promoted as having the reliability of the New York Times.  The Times is a syphilitic pimp of a paper.  The Sulzberger family has kept it that way for the entire time it has been helping to create the conditions that have given us a Trump Presidency.  As I will never stop pointing out, it is the paper that legalized exactly the kind of lies that have brought us here.  What it permitted, its rivals and colleagues have used to destroy egalitarian democracy even as they piously claim to have promoted it.   The Arthur Ochs Sulzbergers, father and son probably did more to bring us the Trump presidency than any other family.  They fully deserve their share of the credit for that.  

Post Script:  Until We Defeat The Oligarchy We Live Under We Are Divided Between Oligarchs and Commoners.  

American, egalitarian democracy is dead, we may as well all face that fact.  It died in the past fifty years and was sick for a good part of the time after the election of Nixon.  The traditional language that pretended the American system was solidly based on equality and the sovereignty of The People no longer describes the reality of our unequal and increasingly unequal society. 

We have paid a dear price for having the elegant, even coolly aristocratic Barack Obama as President.  He has proven over the past eight years that he just will not exert himself to fight effectively against Republicans except in the context of his own political campaigns.  He has mouthed the conventional formulas talked about above since the election, just as he accommodated Republicans from before he took office.  

Barack Obama has too much class to be good in fighting against the evil we face, he is too concerned with his own image of cool classiness to get down and fight.  He has also proven by his appointments, especially in finance and the economy, and at justice that he's too close to the Republicans in their regard of the wealthy as opposed to the poor.  

That's the price we pay for electing the products of such schools as Harvard, especially those like Obama who never set foot in a public school classroom as a student.  You can contrast him with Elizabeth Warren, who is a product of public schools and universities, though, being absolutely brilliant, she was hired by Harvard she has proven to most certainly not be of it.  I would contrast Obama to a great extent with Hillary Clinton who also went to pubic schools though she went to private colleges, including that other most eminent of the Ivies, Yale.  I think Hillary Clinton would have governed far to the left of Obama and I don't think she would have appointed the kind of people who Elizabeth Warren has to publicly confront over their oligarchy pleasing conduct.  

Barack Obama would make a good figurehead, high above things, a symbol, he has been a weak Democrat in far too many ways.  I do blame him for a good part of this.  If he had not appointed the likes of Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, etc. the middle and lower classes would be doing a lot better, if he had appointed someone who didn't follow the never prosecute the richest thieves policies of Eric Holder he would have been their hero instead of someone who so many believe betrayed them.   There is no reason to hold back on those points anymore, if they aren't said we won't learn not to put our trust in someone whose natural accommodations for his own class inevitably make him into a person most people don't trust to look out for them.   I voted for Obama twice, the second time it was not because I thought he would do better, it was because his opponent was worse.   If we ever see another Democrat who manages to win election it really should be a Democrat who cares about those who have become,  in this stinking de facto oligarchy, common people. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hate Ma..... Oh, Who Cares?

Adam hominem said.... 

I don't care what some Eschaton dolt who I don't even remember says about me as long as it's not the truth.  And when it's the Eschatonians it never is so I don't care. 

Annie Proulx - Charles Wuorinen - Brokeback Mountain the Opera

The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack’s sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he’d thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack’s own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one. He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.

A friend sent me the DVD of Charles Wuorinen's opera on Annie Proulx's liberetto of Brokeback Mountain to cheer me up.   I just listened to it and I have to say it has everything to love about it that the movie lacked.  The intensity of the music, the acting, the set and everything are without an ounce of sentimentality to dilute the heartbreaking story.   The postcard scene is about the saddest thing I've ever seen in any kind of theater or movie or opera.   It is a real masterpiece.  I can't say that it cheered me up but it is wonderful and a great, great work.    I might write about it more later.

Update:  This is interesting, Proulx talking about how she first came up with the idea for the story.  I'd never heard that before.

Psalm 10

By chance, today is the 10th day of the month and so the 10th Psalm is the first of the five I just listened to and read.  I think it would make a great blues song  or a great country song for our current condition. Here it is in the Contemporary English translation.

A Prayer for Help

10 Why are you far away, Lord?
    Why do you hide yourself
    when I am in trouble?
2 Proud and brutal people
    hunt down the poor.
    But let them get caught
    by their own evil plans!
3 The wicked brag about
    their deepest desires.
    Those greedy people hate
    and curse you, Lord.
4 The wicked are too proud
to turn to you
    or even think about you.
5 They are always successful,
though they can’t understand
    your teachings,
    and they keep sneering
    at their enemies.
6 In their hearts they say,
    “Nothing can hurt us!
    We’ll always be happy
    and free from trouble.”
7 They curse and tell lies,
and all they talk about
    is how to be cruel
    or how to do wrong.
8 They hide outside villages,
    waiting to strike and murder
    some innocent victim.
9 They are hungry lions
    hiding in the bushes,
    hoping to catch
    some helpless passerby.
They trap the poor in nets
    and drag them away.
10 They crouch down and wait
    to grab a victim.
11     They say, “God can’t see!
    He’s got on a blindfold.”
12 Do something, Lord God,
    and use your powerful arm
    to help those in need.
13 The wicked don’t respect you.
    In their hearts they say,
    “God won’t punish us!”
14 But you see the trouble
and the distress,
    and you will do something.
The poor can count on you,
    and so can orphans.
15 Now break the arms
    of all merciless people.
    Punish them for doing wrong
    and make them stop.
16 Our Lord, you will always rule,
    but nations will vanish
    from the earth.
17 You listen to the longings
    of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
    and you pay attention
    to their cries for help.
18 You defend orphans
    and everyone else in need,
    so that no one on earth
    can terrify others again.

I'd take this a lot more seriously than I would some guy with a degree from an Ivy League school insulting and condescending to me and blaming me for getting duped by their classmates into voting for my oppressors. .

Hate Mail - No, Trumpism Isn't A Product Of "Ignorant Trailer Trash"

For crying out loud.  The American post-war intelligentsia has been glorying in and wallowing in and promoting the lowest of vulgarity, the culture of porn and stupidty as the equivalent of high culture for decade upon decade and now that we have a big fat, gross example of that elected to the presidency, NOW, NOW YOU'RE WHINING ABOUT HOW VULGAR IT IS?  

Through RMJ and rustypickup this morning, I got to this great article by Kathryn Lofton which has this observation:

To begin, the work of explaining Trump has already been done. The sheer tonnage of analysis on Trump outpaces any other modern presidential candidate, not merely because of his own peculiarity but also because of the seizing algorithmic enormity of the internet, where the long-form essay on Trump has become a rite of passage for anyone with a byline. Nearly every account of Trump’s success works economics into their explanation, arguing that those who favor him are those who have experienced the negative effects of globalization, and the corresponding economic anxiety and stagnant median wages of 21st-century life. Oh, yes: and those refugee flows from the Middle East, bringing with them the toxic two-step of potential terrorist cells and low-wage competition for jobs. (It is unclear which is worse: the immigrant as cheap labor or the immigrant as suicide bomber.)

The problem with this economic theory of Trumpism is that no evidence supports it. Hard numbers complicate the argument that income or education levels predict Trump support, or that working-class whites support him disproportionately. The results of 87,000 interviews conducted by Gallup showed that those who liked Trump were under no more economic distress or immigration-related anxiety than those who opposed him. Moreover, Trump supporters don’t have lower incomes or higher unemployment levels than other Americans.

The religionists are nodding. Not because we necessarily knew those statistics, but because we’ve been through this before. There is no religious movement in human history that has not been explained by outsiders to it through recourse to economics. People are always assuming that if you believe in Marian apparitions, throw yourself on a funeral pyre, pray five times a day, or speak in tongues, you do so because you’re poor and hungry for epic consequence, or because you’re poor and want to pay obeisance to omnipotent powers who could make you otherwise. Such observers think religious activities are done by the desperate to compensate through immaterial means for material lack. Many of them, using Marx weakly, often dragoon him to their case.

It just isn’t so. Earlier this year, primary exit polls revealed that Trump voters were, in fact, more affluent than most Americans, with a median household income of $72,000—higher than that of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporters. Forty-four percent of them had college degrees, well above the national average of 33 percent among whites or 29 percent overall. These facts haven’t stopped pundits and journalists from pushing story after story about the white working class’s giddy embrace of Trump. We like that story, because it comforts us into believing that a liberal education begets liberal political thinking, and that a living wage could soothe the vulnerable. It’s harder to understand why the world-class physicist is also an evangelical, or why the college-educated Army officer is voting for Trump.

And that is worth reading more than anything I've written on the subject and almost everything else I've read this past year. It is better than everything I've read from Thomas Frank or any of the other secular lefty analysts.  

The fault isn't with poor white people, the problem is greedy people and they abound among the clean, well-dressed, manicured elite.  Though it certainly doesn't incline people to vote for people who they know look down on them.  If there is one group I would like to purge from the public conception of the left, of liberals it is the kind of people who think of poor people as "trailer trash".  You're not liberals, you're a tool of the fascist elite.  You love to wallow in low brow vulgarity and then you turn around and declare your superiority to it.   College- trained and credentialed trash is what got us here, not people without power.  

The New Standard Trio: Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte - Heineken Jazzaldia 2015

Jamie Saft - piano, keyboards
Steve Swallow - bass guitar
Bobby Previte - drums

I really needed that.  Has anyone played in more groups of great musicians than Steve Swallow?

Now We Reap The Whirlwind We Have Sown

As it become clearer just how horrible having Trump as president becomes, we will have at least some idea of how to fight against it.   And it will be horrible.  Among other things being talked about:

Having Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. Rudy Giuliani, the man who was obviously working with agents and, I've got little doubt, officials of the FBI who made the federal police agency a tool of the Republican Party in order to destroy the candidate of the Democratic Party.   In no unmistakable terms, that is a defining practice of fascism.   The FBI will certainly become even more the Republican Parties tool for going after politicians, activists, nongovernmental agencies, and others who the Republican Party THE TRUMP-PENCE PARTY see as a possible danger to their interests.  Oh, yeah, and they'll go after real journalists as well, though the so-called journalists who do their bidding and serve their purpose - most of the ones you see on TV and hear on the radio probably don't have anything to worry about so they'll help provide the overtly Republican FBI cover.  

If that isn't enough to make you understand that those who voted for Trump and the Electoral College system that put the loser of the popular vote into office have given us a government which will be in the hands of actual fascists, Trump will almost certainly get to replace, not only his fellow fascist, the late Antonin Scalia, but almost certainly Ruth Bader Ginsberg, very likely he'll get to replace Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and it wouldn't surprise me if Clarence Thomas, another overt fascist, left the court so another younger federalist-fascist could be put on the court by those who will choose Trump's nominees for him.   Of course he could choose them himself which would mean they'd probably be about as qualified to be on the Supreme Court as Trumps physician is.  Maybe he'll name that quack Surgeon General, or head of the FDA.   

The implications of having Newt Gingrich as Secretary of State are horrifying but I haven't thought through those as of yet.   We'll have at least four years to find out.  We do know that with the election of Vladimir Putin's asset, the Russian dictator has successfully colonized the United States.  We are, perhaps, the first nation which chose its colonization by getting tricked into it by the masterful manipulation of our media and our political system.  You would think that when you face someone as clever as Putin and his team of thugs you would want to be at your smartest, but our decadent media and intellectual class combined with our anti-democratic, antique 18th century political system were a remarkably easy push-over for them, in the end.  All of those will have to be replaced, replacing the revered and dangerous political system will probably be the hardest to change, in the end.  If you think the Gingriches among us are going to do anything to protect our independence, you are a fool. 

Trump's financial team is going to be full of even bigger crooks and thugs and robbers who will steal from the poor and give to the rich.   I don't know if,  as Keith Olberman has said, that the rustbelt states that went for Trump will be the first ones to feel the effect as their plight becomes even worse but they won't be left behind in the wreckage they'll produce.   Again, the degenerate media we have will not report it, they won't report anything that would displease their owners who will get rather used to Trump's style of fascism, a style they sold through his media career over the past two decades.  I read somewhere that Morning Joe on the "liberal cable station" MSNBC was full of happy talk about how much fun the Trump regime will be.  I doubt the liberal ghetto hours on that one and only cabloid station to have one of those will survive.  


The consequences of what almost half of the American votes did on Tuesday are going to be horrible and they will last for years.  Among the lessons to be learned from allowing the media to flood the limited time that Americans will give to news with lies will be that those choices, to allow the media to lie because "the first amendment" is that you can't have an egalitarian democracy if people fall for lies.  And with modern methods of planning how to deliver those lies, made more attractive and appealing and exciting, enough people will fall for them to make democracy impossible.  Only no one will say that because "the first amendment".   There were lots of real journalists who fell for that line of secular liberal superstition, that the truth would win in the end, even when the lies it would have to fight were told with the multiplying effect of the mass media, owned and operated by and for the wealthy owners and corporations and their friends, associates and families.  My beloved Molly Ivins, so brilliant, so cagey, so much nobodies fool in just about every other way once declared herself to be a "first amendment absolutist".   It was about the only thing she ever wrote I really thought was dangerously wrong.  

But the truth is that egalitarian democracy depends on both a knowledge of reality sufficient to make good choices and, I would say even more so, the sense of moral obligation to not make those choices on the basis of selfishness and self-interest alone. Trump is a princling among liars who is a complete and amoral egotist who has never made a choice on the basis of the good it will do anyone else.  He's a man whose "charitable foundation" is there to buy him things and to be a con-game. 

And the truth is that people will vote for fascists when sold the right lies in the right way.  That truth overrides the widespread magical thinking that holds that because someone can get something said in The Nation or on Pacifica that means the lies told on all of the for-profit TV and radio stations will be defeated.   Don Quixote had more of a sense of reality. 

The intellectual class we have is decidedly stupid.  Their idiotic superstition holds that just because they and their tiny circle of friends know the truth that that suffices when egalitarian democracy, by defining practice, extends the vote to hundreds of millions of TV watching and radio listening voters whose lives aren't dedicated to searching out the truth obscurely on display in magazines and books they've never heard of and will never be told of by American TV and radio.   

The secular intellectuals are the ones who created and bought that superstitious line which was mostly good for permitting pornography a free hand when anyone who really thought about the consequences could have predicted it would destroy democracy in exactly the way it has when its permissions were applied politically.   

I am sorry to say that far, far too many of religious intellectuals, probably under the coercive peer pressure of their secular colleagues, have also fallen for it when they certainly know better.  The fashions of the secularists who would disdain and mock the necessity of morality in producing and defending egalitarian democracy and a decent life are things that religious intellectuals should never have fallen for, though if they had pushed the necessity of telling the truth, the secularists would have mocked them and even more effectively marginalized them.   Morality, even asserting the moral basis of egalitarian democracy, has often been silenced through that mockery, it is not rewarded in academia and certainly not in the media.  It's high time that the alleged smart people in our intellectual class took responsibility for their role in creating the environment that both produced Trump and sold him to the American People.  

* The only real crime among secular intellectuals is based in the one and only lie they will punish and that deals in one, specific lie.  Plagarism, falsely claiming the words of other people for yourself without attribution is the one and only time that lying is really punished in academia and it isn't based in whether or not the content is true or false,  good or malignant in effect, it is a commercial crime based on the theft of "intellectual property".   Spreading lies even those which risk killing lots of people in what is written won't get you into real trouble with secular intellectuals.  Not so long as you give them recognition through citation.   The most dangerous things are pushed in academia all the time and no one is so much as shunned because of it.  That's the atmosphere that started us on the slide into fascism.   Secularism and its refusal to acknowledge moral truths can't sustain democracy because democracy is a product of moral behavior. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


There's one bit of bright news in the general gloom,  In New Hampshire Maggie Hassan won the Senate seat now occupied by the loathsome and cruel Kelley Ayotte.   If it means that Ayotte never wins election that would be a great thing.  She is really one of the worst people the North East has sent to the Senate in a long time. 

Weirdest news is that the town of Scarborough, Maine, population 4,403. somehow forgot to count 2,700 absentee ballots, or something like that.  Though I'm amazed they could have that number of them, it's even more amazing they could overlook them.  Two state house seats might change hands due to it.  

Legalizing marijuana, raising taxes in the rich are both too close to call, apparently.  We got the minimum wage raise and ranked voting, which I hope means we'll never have another Paul LePage even if some egotistical millionaire decides to run a vanity candidacy.  Though I'm always wary about how some right-wingers could game the process. 

Background checks on gun sales went down, which anyone who knows Maine would know it would.  Why out of state groups push these questions, skewing the turn out and likely effecting other races is likely due to the stupidity of liberals of the past who thought it would be groovy to make it easier to get questions on the ballot.   Maine has had some really ditsy liberals over the years, probably how we got the two districts' electoral votes counted separately.   Such liberals, in my experience, are not really so liberal. 

Post Election Disaster Radio Drama - Clean Sweep - Waltzing With Hilda

God Gives Us Freedom God Doesn't Give Us A Carte Blanche From Living With The Consequences Of Our Choices

" This proves there is no god."

What is it with you guys that literally everything turns into a chance to push your atheist ideology?   You know, you really give it away, what it is you really care about and it isn't much of anything else. 

What it proves is what it says all through the Bible, that actions and choices have consequences and one of the consequences of us having choices is that we have to live with the results of those choices. That's not proof that there is no God, it's proof that God gave us freedom of thought and action.   And the collective action of lots of people can have consequences that are greatly magnified.

The atheist view of scripture is essentially the same as the most naive, most ill-considered, most superficial and dishonest of those who profess to believe it.  If you read The Book of Judges you will see, over and over again the disastrous results of the choices people make.  Or even better, Chapter 8 in the Book of Samuel

4 One day the nation’s leaders came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said, “You are an old man. You set a good example for your sons, but they haven’t followed it. Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. Choose one for us!”

6 Samuel was upset to hear the leaders say they wanted a king, so he prayed about it. 7 The Lord answered:

Samuel, do everything they want you to do. I am really the one they have rejected as their king. 8 Ever since the day I rescued my people from Egypt, they have turned from me to worship idols. Now they are turning away from you. 9 Do everything they ask, but warn them and tell them how a king will treat them.

10 Samuel told the people who were asking for a king what the Lord had said:

11 If you have a king, this is how he will treat you. He will force your sons to join his army. Some of them will ride in his chariots, some will serve in the cavalry, and others will run ahead of his own chariot.  12 Some of them will be officers in charge of a thousand soldiers, and others will be in charge of fifty. Still others will have to farm the king’s land and harvest his crops, or make weapons and parts for his chariots. 13 Your daughters will have to make perfume or do his cooking and baking.

14 The king will take your best fields, as well as your vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his own officials. 15 He will also take a tenth of your grain and grapes and give it to his officers and officials.

16 The king will take your slaves and your best young men and your donkeys and make them do his work. 17 He will also take a tenth of your sheep and goats. You will become the king’s slaves, 18 and you will finally cry out for the Lord to save you from the king you wanted. But the Lord won’t answer your prayers.

19-20 The people would not listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want to be like other nations. We want a king to rule us and lead us in battle.”

21 Samuel listened to them and then told the Lord exactly what they had said. 22 “Do what they want,” the Lord answered. “Give them a king.”

Put that into contemporary terms that mean things like they'll dupe you into borrowing money and use the debt to steal everything you have, or they'll let them steal your retirement fund or they'll cheat your children out of an education or they'll dupe them into taking out absurd loans to finance bogus educational ventures.... That's what we got in this election, people who will do everything they can to steal everything.  It's not as if that warning wasn't given more than 2,500 years ago.   Maybe if you really read it you'd have been warned.  

TV Lies Democracy Dies

I just got done talking with a friend who sat at the polls with a petition to expand medicaid in Maine, one of the states blocked by John Roberts, Republicans in the legislature and the sleaze ball who will probably be in the Trump regime, Paul LePage. 

He said that the saddest thing was the number of those who had Trump pins on who obviously needed stuff and who signed the petition, not realizing they were voting for a man and a party who was going to prevent it from ever happening. 

TV lies, democracy dies. 

Hillary Clinton Was Burdened With The Mistakes Of Previous Democrats

I have concentrated on the role the media played in first providing the polluted swamp, then created Donald Trump in that environment and then promoted him with an estimated two-billion dollars worth of free publicity because that is the single thing most responsible for the destruction of American democracy.    If the media had been telling the truth, telling the facts for the past fifty years we would probably have someone more like a president Elizabeth Warren putting together her team instead of Trump.  But there are others, some of them supposed to be on our side who played a supporting role.

The past and still sitting Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had a large role in this.   One of the things I've taken to doing the past few days to try to cheer myself up has been to watch Youtubes of Elizabeth Warren grilling bankers, presidents of banks, insurance companies, and, most notably in this piece, such people as Tim Geithner, the head of the SEC, Mary Jo White, others such as Leonid Chanin  (who she was coerced into hiring due to his alleged and massive expertise) and speaking against such things as the Trans-Pacific Partnership

While I haven't found video of her grilling some other very deserving appointees of Barack Obama, there are those there as bad as any she did question.   

When one of the greatest voices for economic justice in the United States Senate has to do this to the appointees and policies of the sitting Democratic president, there is something seriously wrong with the policies of that president.   

If Barack Obama had championed the interest of working people, poor people small businesses, instead of those of the richest of the rich and the biggest of the biggest corporations who are robbing, fleecing and cheating and grinding down people at the bottom of the economic ladder he would never have lost the congress in 2010, he would have almost certainly have created the conditions that would have made Americans reject Donald Trump and voted for a real Democrat who will not be the disaster that they turned to.   Much of what I said about Barack Obama could be said for the many missed opportunities during the Bill Clinton administration - though in Bill Clinton's case, the tech bubble did a lot to float the economy so people actually did better.  Barack Obama's slow motion growing of the economy didn't keep up with the increasing predation of banks like Wells Fargo and many others.   Bank consolidation has increased massively during the Obama administration and his appointees have largely either done nothing to stop that or to enable it.  

The announcement right before the election of the large increases in premiums in Obamacare is emblematic of too much of how the Obama team has thought of giving something to the middle class and lower income people who elected Barack Obama to office, twice.   I have to say, important as it is, as big a step as it was - before it is destroyed - Obamacare has seemed like meager crumbs as compared to the lavish rewards the banker, CEO class has enjoyed as a result of policies his appointees have put into place. 

I strongly believe that Hillary Clinton would not have made those same mistakes, there was every evidence that she knew that if she tried to make those kinds of appointments that she would have Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others to deal with.   I think that she is far less likely to have overlooked issues benefiting the working class than Barack Obama.   I honestly doubt anyone, with a straight face, could say that Barack Obama has demonstrated the kind of devoted commitment to  economic justice for working class and poorer people that his campaign rhetoric led people to hope for in 2008 and, to some extent 2012.   If he had worked as hard for that as he has for the TPP, for bailing out the banks, the Democratic Party would be in great shape instead of being KOed by a total fraud who will disappoint his supporters hopes even as he plays on their fears and insecurities to manipulate them for his own benefit.   I know that disappointment among Donald Trump's cult following is coming, I can guess who he will blame for it, the only question is if it will take.  The cabloid and other media will be supporting his narrative.  

Listen to the videos, it might rouse you from the stunned shock we are all rightly in today.  It should be shocking to any Democrat that this kind of questioning of a Democratic President's appointees and situations allowed under his administration was appropriate and necessary.   

As we try to recover, as we try to rescue democracy or to remake it after the Trump-fascist regime destroys it, no one who could make such appointments and make such policies should be part of the effort.  Whatever gratitude Democrats owe Barack Obama, we owe the American People even more, we owe it to them to take their lives entirely more seriously than they have been taken. 

More On What Is Coming

I don't know how to fight the struggle that will come.   The old tools of demonstrations and stunts like Occupy certainly haven't prevented the descent into fascism, I doubt they'll be effective in fighting it. I suspect that any effective resistance to this won't come from the secular left, it will be based in religious communities which hold the moral obligation to demand equality and justice.  That's about as far as I've gotten tonight, this sleepless night, one of many I'm expecting.  

Violence is going to come, real violence using those guns,  the gun nuts aided and abetted by the Roberts and other Republican courts have armed them with.   The truly fascistic nature of those elegantly educated and trained people will become clear in actual violence.  I pray that it doesn't get as out of hand as it very likely could.  It probably will.   

That violence has already come to Black People, to Latinos, to Muslims, to LGBT people and others.  It has come to schools across the country.  A judiciary and  politicians who are willing to see elementary school children gunned down in mass shootings will not flinch at the kind of violence they have already enabled when it becomes a political tool.  I'm tempted to say I hope I'm wrong about it but that recent history, just cited, proves that's exactly what is happening now. 

The Gangrene That Killed American Democracy Started With A Permission To Lie With Impunity

The scope of the disaster we have been brought to by a president who is the creation of the free press, freed to lie with impunity, will rapidly become somewhat clearer, though don't expect the mass media which created Donald Trump to report the scope of the disaster.  It won't.  It will lie and millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions will buy that lie and the fear used to sell it.  

This disaster began in 1964 with the Sullivan Decision in which the liberal Warren Court opted for neutrality in the matter of the media having to correct and compensate public figures for printing and broadcasting false information about public figures.  In that case it was the New York Times which appealed a ruling against it by a Southern Court and instead of saying the Times had to correct the minor misstatements of fact contained in the ad it published and to pay the court costs of the slightly injured party.   The New York Times could have easily absorbed such a cost.   Instead the court, perhaps somewhat addicted to setting up landmarks issued a blanket immunity to the media to lie about public officials without there being any possibility of the lied about person or entity suing.  

That power was used by the corporate media, up to and including the august New York Times, to mostly lie about liberals and  liberal politicians.  Hillary Clinton is the iconic figure in that effort, and we have the massive liar Donald Trump in lieu of her.  

Democracy can't live on a diet of lies, it can only live on a diet of truth, of reality.  The Sullivan and other, similar decisions of judges and justices started American democracy on a diet of lies, the result of that just came to its terminal stage. 

There is absolutely nothing complex or mysterious about this, though it is far easier to see if you saw the entire fifty-three years since that small wound put on the moral foundation of democracy first became infected with lies and the gangrenous lesion that developed spread and has now destroyed everything good about the United States. 

I wonder what Maureen Dowd and the guys who had to retract their series about Hillary Clinton being indicted last year will write about a year from now.  I wonder what Nat Hentoff and Joel Gora will do today.   Maybe they'll put out some of their magical "more speech" to make it all better. 

I Would Recommend Reading The Prophets Because This Is A Situation That They Faced

I'm going to bed, I don't know what the results will turn out to be other than that we are in the kind of trouble that a country gets into when a dangerous number of people believe the lies they are told by the mass media.  

Mark my word, this danger won't pass until the mass media is prevented from lying because they won't do it on their own, they have to be made to tell the truth. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton Gave Us A Great Candidacy

Win or lose, I'd better not hear anyone accuse Hillary Clinton of running a bad campaign, she ran a great campaign which was largely ignored by the TV and other media.  As a candidate, she displayed massive competence, command of facts, grace under fire, strength under pressure and, especially in the debates, some tactical brilliance.  Her ability to get under Trump's skin and force him to display what a fool he is was the best performance of its kind I've ever seen.  

If this campaign is lost it will have more to do with Republican ratfucking done in the FBI, the media journalizing its hatred of her and its contempt for Democrats and democracy than anything wrong with her candidacy.  She has overcome so much, including stupid missteps by Bill Clinton and some members of the Obama administration.  If tonight is a good one I'll have something to say about both of them.  

I have become convinced in the last two months that Hillary Clinton has the ability to be a great president and the disposition to, as well.  If she gets the chance to prove that potential remains to be seen.  Whatever else you might want to claim, she has not let down her supporters.  She has fought a brutal uphill battle, not only this past eighteen months but over the past three decades.  I am not especially sentimental about voting but I can say that I felt proud to vote for Hillary Clinton.  
The Republican-fascists in Maine are engaging in voter intimidation, from the Republican-fascist governor, Paul LePage down to nameless thugs who are distributing false information threatening college students discouraging them from voting. 

I am hoping that the Maine Senate is under Democratic control next year and that Paul LePage will finally be stopped from breaking the law and violating his responsibilities in office.  If they can find that he has broken a law, I hope his evil ass is impeached and he is prosecuted and punished.  I hope the Republican-fascists lose it all.   

Monday, November 7, 2016

Etta Jones - Fine And Mellow

Etta Jones, vocal
Frank Wess, flute and tenor sax
Richard Wyands, piano
Skeeter Best, guitar,
George Duvivier, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Update:  Don't Go To Strangers 

Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass - Once I loved

You Took Advantage Of Me 

I Think The Trump Campaign Might Have Broken The Record For Most Flagrant Lying

It's hard to name who the biggest liar in the Trump campaign has been - other than Donald Trump, himself - but I think Kellyanne Conway might be the most pathologically lying with absolutely no morals in evidence and no hesitation to tell the most incredibly obvious lies. 

Oh, but, then, again, there's Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie.... 

Even If Comey Resigns The Agents Who Have Made The FBI Into a Republican Propaganda Generator Have To Be Rooted Out And Punished

Iowa house member, right wing fanatic and all-round piece of slime Steve King is saying that Republicans in congress have the 650,000 e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop.

That fact mandates that there be a full criminal investigation of the FBI under James Comey with full powers to compel testimony under oath, full power to see warrants to gather evidence and full power to seek grand jury or whatever other means are available to prosecute anyone who committed a crime in this matter.  

There are those who are asking for this to be quietly swept under a rug in the interest of harmonious getting on with things.  The problem is that the Republicans, now morphed into an actual fascist party will continue using the same tactics they pioneered during the Bill Clinton administration of using the FBI and other law enforcement entities, from local and state police on up  as part of their political operations.  James Fallows of the Atlantic might think he's come up with the solution of a possible president Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama firing the incompetent and obviously corrupt James Comey being forestalled by, somehow, James Comey just deciding to resign after the election.  Which is absurd.   Any such scheme that imagines Comey to do that without being forced to is nonsense.  And it hardly addresses the very likely range of crime committed within the federal law enforcement agency.

James Comey is a big part of the problem, especially in the last year, he is obviously unable to direct the agents of the FBI to do, you know, little things like prevent terror attacks, go after actual criminals who rob people, who harm people, who kill people, in stead of trying to find salacious or merely slightly off or merely bendable stuff to use against Democrats.  But this problem has been an ongoing one for the past quarter of a century.   It is clear that there are FBI agents who are using the FBI to promote the Republican party in politics, to aid the cabloid scandal machine, especially that of Rupert Murdoch and to set up a de facto one-Republican party-state.

There has to be a stop put to this and it won't come by anything short of a full criminal investigation, including any congressmen or Senators or other politicians who have worked with those agents to politicize the FBI.   Rudy Giuliani has certainly been a part of it by his own admission.  His admission is credible, his retraction slide back is an obvious lie.

The role of television and radio news would almost certainly enter into this, it's obvious that some people at FOX "news" have  had access to information that could likely only come from the FBI.  If any of that was illegal, they should also be placed under investigation.   The 24hour "news" cable stations have had a huge role in corrupting our politics, they have been, throughout their relatively short history had the same political profile of the tabloid rags, right wing.  The few examples which can serve as an exception to that are notable BECAUSE THEY ARE AN EXCEPTION TO IT.  They have constituted a minuscule number of total hours spent piping propaganda at a significant part of the American People.  That propaganda has had an alarmingly dangerous effect, as seen at Trump rallies all year.

The whole thing has to be exposed to the full view of the public.  Crimes committed have to be fully investigated and, where possible, prosecuted and punished.  Law enforcement officers should be the last to complain about them being held to the standards and practices of their own profession.  And if they complain their hypocrisy noted and ignored as those crimes are pursued.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Addendum: If There Is A Terror Attack People Need To Ask Why The FBI Was Playing Politics Instead of Preventing It

I had a Republicanfascist troll make some comment just now about the warning that there is chatter that Al Qaeda might be planning a terror attack in the United States, no doubt to have the kind of effect on our elections that other governments have been trying to do by other means.

If there is an attack one of the first questions that has to be asked is if the FBI office in New York City and other agents, elsewhere, hadn't been trying to screw with the election so much over the past months maybe they'd have had more resources available to investigate and perhaps have prevented it. 

James Comey should be the first person asked that question and not allowed to get out of giving an account of why he let so many FBI agents play politics instead of doing their jobs this year.  He and the Republican-aiding agents will wear it, first and foremost. 

Atenas Ourkouzounov - Eastern Songs

Atenas Ourkouzounov, guitar

Update:  I don't know what it is about people from small Eastern European countries using the indigenous musical traditions of their countries that sets Simps off, he seems to take it as a personal affront to his .... um.... sensibility.   Why it's any worse than anyone else using their national musical materials when they compose, I have no idea.   As I've pointed out, you can find that kind of bigot flourishing in the suburbs of culture in the New York City area.   Considering how many of his heroes steal other peoples' national musical styles it is especially silly.

For some reason, all of a sudden, I've started thinking of him as Colonel Simp.  That rhymes with Blimp.

Serge Prokofiev - Sonata no 2

Leonid Kogan, violin
Andrei Mytnik, piano

Every once in a while I have a hankering to listen to Leonid Kogan.  He had one of the most alive voices in violin playing. Obviously this recording was transferred from an lp, the scratch is kind of annoying but his playing is so incredibly wonderful it makes up for it.

Comey Covering His Other Cheek

So, James Comey sent a new letter to the congress saying that the FBI hasn't found anything that would cause them to re-open the case into Hillary Clinton's e-mails nine days after he broke Department of Justice rules and the advice of his superiors against sending the letter that obviously tried to damage Hillary Clinton's and Democrats chances in the election on Tuesday.  I wonder which cheek this one is supposed to cover.

Just how big an idiot is James Comey?   Obviously a huge one which is probably one of the big reasons why he has been so really bad at the job.  But he's indisputably corrupt, as well.

Barack Obama made a huge mistake in putting James Comey in the Directorship of the FBI, he owes it to the country to fire him, especially if Democrats take back at least the Senate.    James Comey is not only incompetent, he is a hypocrite and the kind of self-righteous guy whose conscience will allow him to turn anything into an act of virtue, in his own mind and at his own convenience.  The man belongs outside of law enforcement, outside of the judicial system, outside of government and alleged public service.   Aside from his own corrupt incompetence in sending the letter is that he has allowed agents of the FBI to break rules and almost certainly the law in pursuing political vendettas as FBI investigations and sharing leaks with Rudy Giuliani and other members of the Republican Party and the right-wing media.  He is unable to direct the agency he's the Director of, that, alone, constitutes not only cause to fire him but makes it necessary to do so.

If Barack Obama doesn't, in the little time left in his term, remove Comey from office he has confirmed that he never intended to be a strong president.  It will be just one in a series of let downs during his time in office.   If he does, he should leave it to Hillary Clinton to appoint his successor, that is if she is elected and the Democrats take the Senate.   If that doesn't happen, Democrats taking at least the White House and Senate, it might be just as well to leave him in place.   If Hillary Clinton doesn't manage to dump him she should appoint an Attorney General strong enough to keep him and his rogue agency in line.  Loretta Lynch obviously couldn't.   If an adequate successor can't be put in the office, it would probably be better to have the discredited Comey in the office rather than who would succeed him under any of the nightmare scenarios that the FBI meddling in the election might bring.  

At the very least there has to be that criminal investigation of Comey and his agents.   The last thing we need is an FBI which is out of control, breaking the law and working with the Republican-fascists.  I think James Comey belongs in jail as well as a number of his agents.  When the police break the law there should be no question of them walking.   Considering the role Comey had in the torture of Jose Padilla, he's the last person who should get off with no penalty paid.

Go To Hell, Democratic Socialists And In These Times

I have noted a number of times that this election has been the one that has put me, decidedly and finally off of the officially leftist media.   Their level of dishonest irresponsibility seems to have no end.  Four days away from the vote that could put Donald Trump and the most overtly fascist Republicans in the history of the party in control of the government finds the Democratic Socialists of America issuing a screed signed by 75 members, posted on the In These Times website entitled "The Left Is Under No Obligation To Support Hillary Clinton"  The photo they have on it 

That was posted even as some political commentators were noting the Trump campaign, Wikileaks and the Putin regime which runs them are trying to whip up resentment among those who supported Bernie Sanders in the nomination.   Well, it's clear that the Democratic Socialists and In These Times are doing exactly the same thing.   I am not suggesting that Putin is driving those two tiny, toy clown cars - why would he when he's got the cabloid fleet of Cadillacs  getting  more attention and influence than the entire pathetic lefty effort doing his bidding.  But it's notable that they're encouraging exactly the same thing which could possibly have exactly the same result in the election.  That In These Times and the Democratic Socialists are going for the same effect has to make you question their motives.   The friggin' intentions of the two factions of Hillary Haters, officially supporting Trump and might-as-well-be supporting him are entirely less real in every way than the horrifically real consequences that their success would be.  

While the Democratic Socialists in their whole, massive ten-thousand claimed membership (which I am skeptical of) and In These Times in it puny readership will unlikely have more than marginal effect on actual votes, in a state where the race is close, it risks that effect being magnified by the electoral college system.  As we all should have learned in 2000, that makes any such effort potentially catastrophic. 

I can tell you what this kind of stuff means for the left's influence in real politics instead of the play politics that so much of the play-left engages in, it makes anyone with the possibility of winning an election and actually doing something realize that there is no reason to try to work with such irresponsible and unreliable people.  The whine of those groups that they are ignored is just a part of their decision to never grow up, to never take any real responsibility in real life.  That is something that the professional class of scribblers who largely comprise the leadership of such organizations can indulge in.   Their primary goal is to get people to read what they write and to support their careers, not to make real change in real laws to make life really better for real people.  

The website of the Democratic Socialists claims its the heir of such people as Eugene Debs, Mother Jones and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, I know that because one of the co-founders, Barbara Ehrenreich says so.  Well, saying it doesn't make it so.  I would guess that none of them would want to be associated with this kind of effort, this year.   The Democratic Socialists are essentially the same kind of thing as the silly Left Forum, a hobby and, perhaps, source of publicity or money for a few rather marginal members of the scribbling and academic class.  I would like to know how many of them ever actually got a single law passed in any congress or state legislature.  That is what distinguishes a real left from a play left.  

I am entirely done being a sucker for the kind of scribbling class politics that can go on for decades without any prospect of ever doing anything real.