Saturday, January 21, 2017

Extra-Feature - Arch Oboler - The Bathysphere

Another classic from one of the best of the original generation of radio dramatists.  Originally a play in response to the megalomaniac dictators of the 30s and 40s.   Here's one online description of the original production of the play.

Aired on Arch Oboler's Plays soon after World War II broke out in Europe. Two outstanding acting performances (Hans Conried and George Zucco) lend crucial believability to a contrived premise in which the oppressed is allowed to confront the oppressor (a favorite device of Oboler's propaganda plays), clarifying their opposing views in the process.

This is a production from 1964.  

It's another one appropriate to the megalomaniacal  Trump regime we are going into.  

Second Feature - From A Story By George G. Toudouze adapted by James Poe - Three Skeleton Key

Vincent Price
John Dehner  
Ben Wright 

Not sure exactly why this seems to be such an appropriate story for the beginning of the Trump Pretendency, their paranoia, certainly, the absurdity of the merely plausible sense of fear it creates in its intended audience....

Anyway, it's considered a classic of radio drama, it was produced at least five times in different productions for radio,  I think Vincent Price was involved with most of them.  

Here's an earlier one that some people like better from 1950. 

Saturday Evening Radio Drama - Harold Pinter - Victoria Station

Paul Rogers - Controller 
Martin Jarvis - Driver

I'm Sure You've Seen The Difference In Size Between Barack Obama's Inaugural And Trumps, Trumps Is The One With Lots of White Showing

Marxism Is As Dead As The Static Universe Theory

Someone apparently read one of my several archived posts in which I point out that not even the biggest Communist party in the world bothers to pretend it believes in Marxism anymore as China replaced it with Victorian era capitalism on steroids and more central planning.  Though I'm not sure that central planning component is what it's supposed to be, either.

It was said by some old scholars of the Soviet Union that by the regime of Leonid Brezhnev no one except the stupidest and most fanatical among the Soviet elite believed in any kind of Communism, anymore.  It was like American democracy here, under the Trump regime, something that is pretended by the guys who want to maintain their power through keeping such forms as the "peaceful transfer of power" under our system which legitimates the illegitimate.

About the only people I know of who pretend to believe in Marxism are idiot scholars and other such boobs who maintain that pose because it's way too late for them to start a whole new career, so they pretend it's scientifically inevitable.  Though there are some who maintain that as part of their febrile atheism, as well.  The "scientific" content of Marx is like that of natural selection, it's based in what is now obviously an absurd over-extension of claims of scientific method way past where it can be reliably applied, on grotesquely inadequate and often quite flimsy data available to the originator of the ideologies and maintained primarily for ideological and secondarily professional interests.  And, again, to those who maintain it out of a supposed utility for their primary interest, their faith of scientistic materialist atheism.

If 19th century physics and even early 20th century physics could maintain a theory as now clearly wrong as the belief that our universe was static and eternal, dealing with observable, reliably measured objects and reliably tested demonstrations of proposals about it, 19th and even present day alleged "science" dealing with things far more complex, impossible to observe and measure and, at every turn, vulnerable to the misunderstanding and, far worse, wishful thinking of those with an interest in a particular point of view stands a practically infinite chance of getting things entirely wrong.   I have no doubt that if we survive long enough and science is still being done, sometime in the future the present ubiquitous belief in natural selection will seem as quaint as a belief in spontaneous generation* does to us today.

We've already reached that stage with Marxism which, by, um......... "virtue" of its known effect of generating tens of millions of murders, slavery, oppression, denial of freedom of speech and, it would wish, thought, is a known and absolutely proven failure and, when insisted on by academic and political hacks, a  fraud.  Those well groomed, clean, even manicured and white collared Marxists are no less snake oil salesmen than Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Chuck Todd and Lou Dobbs.  Marxism lies close on any honest mapping of political ideology with fascism and Nazism because they end up in the same place.  Those dear old lefties who pushed it even as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and even Pol Pot were murdering millions are no dearer than those dear old Nazis who pushed their brand were.  I say to hell with them all.

*  The alleged ally of natural selection, abiogenesis is all about spontaneous generation, much of it even more absurd than the old fashioned kind.  At least the people who believed that had actual organisms that they could see, most of abiogenesis is pure imaginary hooey.

Resisting The Agenda of Pretender Trump and His Republican-Fascists In The Congress

I don't think I've suggested that you read the pamphlet put out by Democratic congressional staffers about how to effectively pressure your members of Congress, House and Senate to not push the Trump-McConnel-Ryan fascist agenda.   If you haven't seen it yet, it is called 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Things We Have To Wonder About Now

Reading Dahlia Lithwick's piece about Pretender Trump's speech made me wonder if we might see some strategic assassinations of journalists such as those that Trump's puppet master used to gain control of Russia.  A few strange deaths among journalists critical of Trump would probably send most of them scurrying to the hem of his garment to kiss it so as not to get on some imagined list of those to off.   Frankly, there is almost no one whose face you see on TV who, if that kind of assassination became a thing who I can imagine standing up and calling it out. Maybe Rachel, or Chris or Bill Moyers.   But, then, maybe I'm wrong about that.  The standing up part, there's good reason to suspect Putin would do such things.   

Would Putin, having pulled off the coup of all coups in putting his puppet in the American Presidency tolerate some American journalists who might threaten to undo it?   I don't know.  He had Alexander Litvinenko murdered in London, in what was a not at all subtle assassination using methods available to the Russian terror police.  Among the reasons for that assassination was the accusation by him and other former members of the Russian secret police that Putin was behind the assassination of Boris Berezovsky, also when he was out of Russia.  If Litvinenko was right, he used terror and assassination in Russia to gain control and I don't see any reason to not suspect it was the case that he'd go after Americans who threatened his major asset in the United States.  

I think it would be a really good idea for some of Trump's critics to be very careful about their personal security, if they aren't all ready.  Putin is just one possible source of danger, his domestic, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi supporters, not to mention those in the FBI, have a history of violence.  
Considering how he imposed Trump on the United States, Putin should be called 

.Vlad The Installer

Update:  OK, how about Vlad the Imposer of Trump the Imposter?

It Is A Sin And An Act Of Real Treason To Lend This Pretender Any Pretended Legitimacy

Trump is not a legitimate president, he was installed by a foreign despot working with the Fascist Bureau of Inquisition and the lying corporate media.

No one, from now on, who doesn't win the popular vote or, really, a majority of the real vote should be accepted by The People as a legitimate president.  

A government is only legitimate if it has the just consent of the governed, if that's not true we should be governed by the Brit government because the Declaration of Independence is founded on a lie.

Trump is a pretender, not a president.  

Charles Ives - An Election

It strikes me that
some men and women got tired of a big job; but, over there our men did not quit.
They fought and died that better things might be!
Perhaps some who stayed at home are beginning to forget and to quit.
The pocketbook and certain little things talked loud and noble, and got in the way;
too many readers go by the headlines, party men will muddle up the facts,
so a good many citizens voted as grandpa always did,
or thought a change for the sake of change seemed natural enough.
“It’s raining, let’s throw out the weatherman, kick him out! Kick him out! Kick him out! Kick him out! Kick him!”
Prejudice and politics, and the stand-patters came in strong, and yelled, “slide back! Now you’re safe, that’s the easy way!”
Then the timid smiled and looked relieved, “We’ve got enough to eat, to hell with ideals!”
All the old women, male and female, had their day today,
and the hog-heart came out of his hole; but he won’t stay out long,
God always drives him back!
Oh Captain, my Captain! A heritage we’ve thrown away;
but we’ll find it again, my Captain, Captain, oh my Captain!

Free Us From All Evil

Stravinsky, Our Father
Cambridge Singers
 John Rutter, Director

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Founders Cemented Slavery And Oppression Into Place Those Idols Should Be Knocked Off Their Plinths

A little remembered incident of the First Congress is as good an illustration as any as to how the Founders went from their pious declarations that "all men are Created Equal" to cementing even overt slavery into place through the Constitution is the handling of the petition Benjamin Franklin submitted for the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.  You don't have to take my word for the role that the idolized Constitution played in that, you can read it in the very excuse of the First Congress, peopled with Founders and their allies gave to not even consider that petition.  First what the U. S. Archives say about the documents.

Franklin did not publicly speak out against slavery until very late in his life. As a young man he owned slaves, and he carried advertisements for the sale of slaves in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. At the same time, however, he published numerous Quaker pamphlets against slavery and condemned the practice of slavery in his private correspondence. It was after the ratification of the United States Constitution that he became an outspoken opponent of slavery. In 1789 he wrote and published several essays supporting the abolition of slavery and his last public act was to send to Congress a petition on behalf of the Society asking for the abolition of slavery and an end to the slave trade. The petition, signed on February 3, 1790, asked the first Congress, then meeting in New York City, to "devise means for removing the Inconsistency from the Character of the American People," and to "promote mercy and justice toward this distressed Race."

The petition was introduced to the House on February 12 and to the Senate on February 15, 1790. It was immediately denounced by pro-slavery congressmen and sparked a heated debate in both the House and the Senate. The Senate took no action on the petition, and the House referred it to a select committee for further consideration. The committee reported on March 5, 1790 claiming that the Constitution restrains The committee reported on March 5, 1790 claiming that the Constitution restrains Congress from prohibiting the importation or emancipation of slaves until 1808 and then tabled the petition. On April 17, 1790, just two months later, Franklin died in Philadelphia at the age of 84.

First, well, better late than never for Dr. Franklin.  He, at least, made that much progress as Thomas Jefferson,  the author of that promise of equality was increasing his practice of slavery with the minutely sedulous scientific analysis.  I will also point out that it as those largely at the agitation of those pesky Quakers that he likely came that far, though they were hardly the only religious abolitionists of the time, many of whom were free Black People and Black People who were held in slavery.

If you want to read the report of the House Special Committe which disposed of the abolitionist petition, in that congress of Founders, you can read it in its depraved specificity, noting that the Constitution, itself, provided them with an excuse not to act for the next eighteen years.  Future congresses would resort to other provisions and the building body of slave-enabling law that was compiled by the judiciary at the same time.   Notice what Congress was forbidden by the Constitution from doing.

That Congress have no authority to interfere in the internal regulations of particular States, relative to the instruction of slaves in the principles of morality and religion*, to their comfortable clothing, accommodations and substance; to the regulation of their marriages, and the prevention of the violation of rights therefore, or to the separation of children from their parents; to a comfortable provision in cases of sickness, age, or infirmity; or to the seizure, transportation, or sale of free negroes; but have the fullest confidence in the wisdom and humanity of the Legislatures of the several States, that they will revise their laws, from time to time, when necessary, and promote the objects mentioned in the memorials, and every other measure that may tend to the happiness of slaves.

Considering that all of those things were things that States among the several States most certainly didn't regulate for the "happiness of slaves" which was the very reason they were brought up by abolitionists, the mealy-mouthed, lying hypocrisy of that House committee couldn't have been more obvious.  And their giving the object of our present day idolatry, the stinking, hypocritical Constitution as the reason for doing no more than lying about what was going on.

A few years back, I asked my very, very old mother and several of the other very old people I knew who were well read and who had always followed current events if they ever heard people going on and on about the "founders" and the Constitution when they were young.  All of them said they didn't remember it until about the time of the backlash against the civil rights agitation in the 1950s and 60s and on.  That was what I suspected, the cult of the Founders and the Constitution is part and parcel of the neo-Confederate reaction to equal rights.  Though, it should be noted, that most of the Northern States were also slave state during the First Congress and many of them would remain so.  I believe the "Mr. Foster" who issued that report was Abiel Foster, of New Hampshire, a member of the First Congress and, indeed, to the Continental Congress.   Though I can't find more documentation of that Special Committee on such short notice.  I would love to know what the gods of that idolatry might have said about it or the provision in the Constitution at the time it was adopted.

*  You can contrast the current de-religionized myth to what the early Black anti-Slavery agitator, David Walker said, mentioning the hypocritical Jefferson by name.   It is clear that slave holders didn't want slaves being exposed to the scriptures because the idea of slaves being freed is central to the entire thing.  They certainly didn't want them to learn to read so they could read such radical commandments of justice for themselves.

Update:  Oh, no.  No, no, no, no, no.  I don't mean that we should come out and attack the friggin' Founders and the corrupt anti-democratic Constitution by name.  We have to get rid of those by a more gradual process that shows people how they got suckered into deifying those in the first place. But the first step in that is for people who claim to be liberals and on the left to stop pushing that crap, themselves.  Even the ones who do it in Founders drag on stage.

I'd urge people to take up what Ishmael Reed and those he cited raised as a tacit challenge, to truthfully do with real abolitionists, Black people, people like Harriet Tubman (read what it said about her in the article I linked to from Reed), David Walker, Ida  Wells, who are real heroines and heroes what was done untruthfully for Hamilton.   Let's see if the friggin' New York Times would promote such a show into a $700 friggin' dollars a friggin' ticket show if it told the truth.  Openly challenge them to do it or to be considered the racist institution it is.  The NYT needs to be knocked off a plinth, too.

Hate Mail - I'm Not Sure Which Founders You're Upset With Me Dissing Those Slaver Crooks Or Lin-Manuel Miranda

If it's the distorter of history in that stupid musical, I can't say it better than Ishmael Reed did. 

If it's the others, my recent analysis is that they suckered a bunch of poor and what would now be called working class guys to fight their revolution for them so they'd be free to steal, pillage and enslave without getting taxed by the Brits.  The bait and switch that they pulled, going from the egalitarian claims of the Declaration of Independence to, once the poor and working class demanded what they got promised, endangering the wealth of the Founders class, to pulling the anti-democratic Constitution out of their foundations and foisting that on them.  
The "Hamilton" that is getting danced and rapped on stage, covering up his and the ruling classes' white faces with dark ones is a total distortion of history.   When you look at the fat, pasty white face of Trump under his troll-doll coif being saluted and celebrated by d-list talent tomorrow, you got him because of the real Hamilton and his buddies.  

You know, it's amazing how many college educated folk in the TV addled age don't understand that theater, the movies, etc. aren't real.  It's gotten so bad that they believe musical comedy is real. 

It's Time For Real Liberals To Stop Calling Ourselves "Liberals"

In my recent posts pointing out the two, incompatible things that get called "liberalism" I was saying that the ones I used to call "liberalish-libertarians" but have recently decided were better called "private-sector fascists" are the ones who have destroyed real liberalism.  The ideas of that liberalish-libertarianism are responsible for the privileging of lies, the idiotic and, to them,thrilling idea that the most proven of evil groups should not be prevented from spreading their intellectual and moral poison to gain influence, they were the ones behind the campaign to discredit the religion that was the strongest force and source of the genuine liberalism contained in the radical economic and social egalitarianism of the Mosaic Law and the Gospel of Jesus.  I could add a myriad of other, subsidiary idiocies and evils that flowed from their 18th century alleged-enlightenment wisdom.   Much of it was based in ideology, though a lot of it was due to the kind of stupid grand-standing and attention getting that seems to go with that kind of stuff.

The political identity that should have comprised liberalism is based in a non-negotiable and absolute belief in equality of all people, perhaps its most radical form ever expressed is found in the economic content of the Mosaic Law.  It has a non-negotiable belief that the truth is to be valued above lies and that lies should never be privileged, for reasons I've pointed out endlessly.  Among the greatest reasons for that is that there is nothing more destructive of an attempt to establish equal justice than for lies to gain widespread or even merely effective influence - that is the meaning of American history over the past fifty years of attacks on what was won in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, the Great Society was an attempt to achieve that equal justice in reality instead of merely in courtrooms and intellectual abstraction and what is now an unfashionable pose in journalism.  It was destroyed through the "free speech-free press" absolutism which elevated lying to the supremacy it has risen to in 2016.

I think it is probably a good idea for people who believe that is to stop calling them and their political side "liberals" and "liberalism".  The word was burdened with such confusion by liberals and turned into a term of effective vilification under their regime of "free-speech, free-press" that it's a liability, anyway.  "Leftist" is hardly helpful either since it is associated with the Marxism, British style and French pseudo-socialism, anarchism and another bunch of junk that is really an even more obvious member of the fascism family.  That use of it has not only robbed the word of its clear meaning, it has associated it with some of the most murderous, oppressive figures in recent history and the ideas that led, inevitably, to those tens, even hundreds of millions of murders.   As an aside, I think here, safe in a quasi-democracy where they were under little to no real danger from those ideologies,  it was for the safe thrill of public display championing  of those thrillingly forbiden and violent Marxists among rich and connected pseudo-liberals that a lot of the "free-speech, free-press" junk arose.  There has been entirely more pose behind the pose of liberalish libertarianism than was ever good for doing actual good.  That it was their ideological cousins, American fascists, who benefited the most and triumphed under from that stupidity doesn't dissuade me into thinking I'm wrong.

I propose we find a new name for our politics, naming it with what it really is, egalitarian absolutism, fairness, monotheistic morality,  I would favor something that can't be divorced from that morality because, as the post-Marxist thinker Jurgen Habermas was forced to conclude by his decades of careful study and thought, there really is nothing else that nourishes it and its holdings, even today.   Atheism, especially the scientistic, Britatheism that has held so much influence on the alleged left, is poison to it.  You can study the British left to see the truth of that, as I have suggested before, look at the writings of the Fabians, including their star George Bernard Shaw who remained a Fabian in good standing even as he advocated the lethal chamber for the unproductive, unfit decades before Hitler and Hess began their program of applied science.

There is no more potent weapon for the political program to enact radical egalitarianism than the fact that the most widely held religion of Americans, Europeans and, I believe, Muslims, contains the belief that radical equality and, in many ways, the economic policies that would produce that equality are the will of God.  I've come to really believe that to be successful, to really overcome the worst in us with the best in us, nothing else can do it.  People have to really believe they are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us is what God wants them to do and that to not do that will have the kind of real, consequences of the kind we are about to see in the Trump-Republican-fascist governance of the United States.  To give that up for Brit style atheism, Marxism, Fabianism, and a host of other isms on the say so of decadent intellectuals was one of the stupidest things done by so many alleged liberals, most of it done out of the basest snobbery.  People who have either wisely rejected that from the start or who, like me, late in life have seen through the lies and poses should let them have the word, it's a meaningless term now, anyway.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trump Will Be Impeachable As Soon As His Hand Leaves The Bible If Not Before It Does*

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It will be his first act of perjury as president.

* Though one suspects he'll be sworn in on a copy of The Art of the Deal. 

Paul LePage Is A Piece of Crap, No Less Is The "Moderate" Susan Collins

The SHAME OF MAINE, the racist, lying scumbag, Republican-fascist "Trump before Trump" governor of Maine is again bringing shame to my state by lecturing John Lewis on the history of civil rights, claiming for the party which has made winning with racism one of its central pillars was .... well, here's what the lying scumbag, Paul LePage said:

"You know, I will just say this. John Lewis ought to look at history. It was Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves.  It was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant that fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.”

As others have pointed out,  Rutherford B. Hayes was the president who made a corrupt deal with the defeated Confederates to end the brief period when black people could vote in the former Confederacy, hold office and pursue equality.  It was under Hayes that Jim Crow started and got cemented into place until the 1950s, it was Republicans who used Lyndon Johnson forcing through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, to rally racists to join the Republican Party, by then the party of racism, reaction, and scum like Paul LePage.   

For the flaming racist, asshole, Paul LePage to presume to lecture John Lewis on the history of Jim Crow which he struggled to end is one of the most repulsive things that piece of slime has done as governor and the SHAME OF MAINE.  

There is no Party of Lincoln left, any Republicans like that left the party long ago.  A "Party of Lincoln" wouldn't have such scum in it like LePage and McConnell and pretty much the entire Republican caucus in the Congress.  It would not have elected the floridly racist Donald Trump.  Now you've got phonies like Susan Collins - a LePage supporter - who will go along with the racist Trump agenda because she wants to be Governor of Maine and the Republicans will probably recruit a millionaire egomaniac to run a spoiler campaign to put the piece of crap in the governorship.

If you think I am pissed off over this, I am because I just got done hearing this story on the Maine media which has done so much to give us both LePage and who have sold Collins to the gullible Maine voters as a "moderate" of the kind that doesn't exist anymore.  

The Liars This Time And The Buyers Who Bought Those Lies

A member of my family sent me a recent incident online of a guy who was going on and on about how he couldn't wait for them to repeal Obamacare.  Someone asked him what he had against the ACA.  He said he wasn't against the ACA he was against Obamacare.  When it was pointed out that they were the same thing he said, Nuh-uh, I got ACA and it isn't Obamacare.

I suspect the racism the Republican-fascists used against a lot of people to sucker them into total control is going to blow up when they find out that inconvenient fact.

I don't doubt that the Republicans are going to kill it, either outright or by destroying it.  They might listen to the health insurance industry and other industries which will face the financial disaster that doing either will cause,  they might, after they have an election disaster, listen to the people they suckered, but they won't do the latter before they destroy it and throw thirty-million people off of health insurance.   I think the resultant catastrophic failure to reimburse hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, etc. will be a huge disaster but if there's one thing that Republicans have proven, beyond any possible denial, it is that they are willing to hurtle the country into a wall or off a cliff.  Remember, they're going to get rid of the things put into place to keep the banksters from doing what they did less than a decade ago, too.

Will we pull out of it in the Age of Lies our best and brightest have brought us to?   I don't know, I tend to doubt it.  Look how fast the media lied Obama into a fatally weakened president - with his help - and on into the disaster they are trying to acclimate the TV addled American attention span to accepting, passively.

Will reality override their propaganda?  It's hard to make bricks from the mud the media flings without the straw of truth and those who have to try to make it can't cut enough for the job.   The lies elected Republicans over and over again and alleged liberals haven't even been brave enough to face the necessity of ending those.  They think the best people won't think well of them if they do.  I'm as disgusted with such "liberals" as I am with the people conservatives suckered.  They're all cowards.

We were saved from outright, European style fascism by a rare combination of good luck and the residual wisdom of a decisive margin of the voters.  I'm not confident that's there anymore after a generation has been brought up on the lies of the media.  I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I am this morning.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Day After

I wasn't going to touch the story about Martin Luther King III meeting with Donald Trump, but changed my mind after reading what Charles Pierce said about it.

I am not a fan of the surviving children of Martin Luther King jr.   I did have genuine admiration for the late Yolanda King in many ways but I think the present generation of the family seems to have done its best to tarnish and diminish the legacy of their father.  The numerous legal actions and lawsuits among them and other King family members,friends and colleagues to try to get hold of property to turn it into cash is sad and at times pretty trashy but, far worse, is their holding his words for ransom, going after anyone who publishes them without pay and their permission first.  His family has managed to do what racists during his lifetime couldn't do, silence him, diminish his influence to make change.

MLK III meeting with Donald Trump to get his support for a pretty far-fetched idea of a national ID, supposedly to prevent voting fraud that doesn't exist OR to prevent an accusation of voting fraud that doesn't exist was regrettable.   It lends Trump a credibility he doesn't deserve and which he won't earn by pushing Republicans to do such a thing.  It was a free photo-op for the most overtly racist candidate to have won the presidency in more than a hundred years.  John Lewis got it right, no one should lend Trump the credibility that he doesn't rightly possess and never will have.

Yolanda King made a speech twenty years ago in which she expressed disapproval of what MLK Day has turned into

King, 42, lamented what she called complacency and apathy among many Americans with regard to social issues. She exhorted the audience to service.

"My father would be disturbed if he knew that people were taking the day off in his memory to do nothing," she said. "Get involved. It's about service, not shopping."

When someone like Donald Trump can co-opt The Reverend Martin Luther King jr. and there aren't any safely used words to counter him with from the man himself, it's clear his legacy has been jeopardized and eclipsed by the very people who should have most valued what he lived for.  Way too many people who have worked to destroy the progress he fought and died for have used him and turned him into a tool of their racism and bigotry.  I don't think it would be as easy for them to do it if his words had been freely available to represent the man.

If we're going to restore the legacy of the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s-60s, we're going to have to do it without those words because we won't be able to afford to use them.

Why Are You Picking On Poor Peter Singer?

Peter Singer and his style of "Ethicist" prove that whenever someone wants to use Darwinism as a frame for an intellectual program that, eventually, the talk turns to who to kill.  My point about Singer, who sells his advocacy of killing disabled people and infants with his vegetarianism and supposed animal rights advocacy, is just carrying on in the most vicious line of eugenics.   

He is making the same arguments that the proto-Nazi Ernst Haeckle made in his Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (English translation, History of Creation) which Darwin endorsed and promoted in The Descent of Man.   Eventually, when the framing is Darwinism ranking individuals and entire ethnic or other groups, especially the disabled, on a scale of value will happen and the advocacy for killing them off will come not long after.  "Moderate" eugenics which consisted of sterilizing people was no less a proposal for removing people from the future than what the Nazis did, it was genocide by other means.  

That he had relatives who were murdered in the Nazi's eugenics program only adds to his depravity.  I will point out that his utilitarianism also, eventually, especially when pushed, tends to move in the same direction.  

If liberals fail to condemn that even as conservatives do, that it's certainly not anything to be proud of.   It does nothing to falsify my point about the confusion that results from calling private-sector fascists liberals instead of the libertarians they are.  That someone can advocate murdering people as an academic exercise in 2017 and it will get them the most desirable of academic appointments is a sign of depravity, not freedom. 

Update:  If Duncan's "Brain Trust" (they really do call themselves that) can't be bothered to read what I said, I don't care what they stupidly prattle to each other about.   Eschaton is just an example of what happens when the host of a blog gets lazy and runs a chat room for profit instead of thinking about things.  

Obviously, to guys like you it's a novel concept that when you read and look up citations instead of babbling about stuff without having done that, you're likely to come to other conclusions than ignorance is likely to produce.   I prefer to increase the odds of getting it right over those of the proverbial broken clock. 

Late hate:  I take back what I said about Derbes being one of the few there who aren't idiots.  Apparently you can teach Physics at the elite Lab School without realizing that in order to know what someone said you have to read what they said.  But, then, he was the one who claimed Inherit The Wind, a largely fictitious distortion of the Scopes Trial was historically accurate.  Seems a grad degree in physics isn't everything. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg Five Heavy Train

I like Little Miss Higgins and the Winnipeg Five a lot.   This is my insomnia mantra these days, two months and counting .

Then there is this, the first of her songs that got my attention.  It's appropriate for the day and the week.

Hope You Don't Feel Blue

Liberals Have The Decision To Make Of Whether Or Not To Murder Martin Luther King jr. A Second Time

I know I said yesterday was going to be the end of my answers to the Darwin fan club members who sent me hate mail over one of my old posts but re-reading some of my archive, I feel morally obligated to point out again that when Darwin, Haeckel, Huxley, et al. talk about Darwin's Natural Selection at work in the human population, they couldn't have been plainer that they meant stronger people killing weaker people as the main feature of that Natural Selection,  the murderers would be the embodiment of the selective force whose ability to dominate and murder other people would be what rendered them superior or, in Darwin's sometimes favored adjective, "higher" and that their victims being dominated and murdered would be what rendered them "lower" or inferior.

As always, you don't need to and shouldn't take my word for it, read The Descent of Man,  Haeckel's History of Creation (translated by one of Darwin's closest colleagues) and the rest of the primary material flowing from Darwin and into the further generations of conventional Darwinists up to, during, and after a brief hiatus of attempting to suppress that inconvenient truth lasting till about the mid 1970s,  on to today.  I mentioned Peter Singer* and his fellow "ethicists" - I would imagine most or all of them quite convinced Darwinists - who have turned "Ethics" into a thrilling and attention getting game of who it is who will be allowed to be killed and who gets to make that decision.   Unsurprisingly, they seem to think it's they, in their superiority, who should determine that.

But why I am writing this, today, is that it is Martin Luther King Day and, after pointing out that the slaugher of Black Africans by the Belgians under Leopold II and the Germans in their pre-Nazi death camps in East Africa and in the assertions of that quintessential Darwinist (he gave the word "Darwinism" its current meaning), the man who Darwin, himself, appointed as his guard dog, Thomas Huxley asserted on Darwinian principles that the inferior freed Black Slaves were to be dominated and slaughtered by the superior white population.   He said that infamously, callously, openly and without any room for any kind of misunderstanding.   Darwinism, as articulated by him, by his approved interpreters and others, in that and generations down to today, has been a bulwark of the very racism that Martin Luther King jr. struggled against and which we are in full blown regression to with the election of the massively racist Donald Trump, the Senate in the control of Mitch McConnell and the neo-confederates, the House in control by the Ayn Randian psychotic Paul Ryan and the Supreme Court about to be re-tilted in favor of their racist, fascist policies through McConnell and the Republican-fascist party making Barack Obama into an incomplete president through denying his Supreme Court nomination to even get a hearing.

The very conditions set into effect in the wake of the civil war, the violent oppression, domination and terror campaign against Black people in the United States are coming back, I can see no reason to believe they won't be at least as bad as some of the periods before Martin Luther King jr. preached his first sermon against racism.  When Thomas Huxley wrote of the eventual killing of freed Black slaves in his infamous essay, when Charles Darwin blithely anticipated the extinction of entire races which he certainly knew his readers realized were Black people,  what has turned into an epidemic of black killings. the destruction of black people through drug pushing, the promotion of alcohol, the promotion of racist stereotypes were what that destruction of what they claimed with the mantle of scientific reliability were inferior people was exactly what they meant.

The word "liberalism" has had dual and largely antonymic meanings.  It means, as Marilynne Robinson and others have pointed out, either the moral obligation to provide the least among us with the means of a decent, dignified life or it means merely having a government which will not intervene in the economy so those who can rig it for themselves can rise and those who can't will fall.  I think the real meaning of that latter, 18th century secular liberalism would mean that it should be called "private sector fascism" because that will be the result of it.  That is how so many "liberals" in the 18th century meaning of the word, how many of those "enlightenment" heroes of that time and onward could be slave holders while claiming that "all men are created equal", opponents of women's rights, full blown racists and even advocates of genocide of those they deemed inferior.  Jefferson, Voltaire, Hume, pretty much the biographical dictionary of heroes of areligious liberalism, when investigated, fit that description (including Peter Singer's Darwin - read the article linked to in the footnotes).   I think it's what made the drift of so many "leftists" to neo-conservatism so easy, what made it possible for the late Nat Hentoff to migrate from the Village Voice to the Cato Institute.

Liberalism has paid with its life for the suppression of the original liberalism based on the Mosaic Laws of economic justice in favor of private-sector fascism.  Liberalism will never be revived until it faces the existential impossibility of both being contained in the one entity.  Either that 18th century atheist definition of "liberalism" or actual liberalism will exit.  Considering that real liberalism and everything it brings with it, including absolute equality,  is far harder than its depraved counterpart, it will be far harder to revive it.  The greatest thing in its favor is that it is egalitarian, far more people have a real stake in its success than the majority which will be suppressed, oppressed, robbed and murdered by private-sector fascism.

Martin Luther King jr. was a radical advocate of American liberalism, a radical egalitarian calling for equal, radical economic justice.  He was not and is not not the property of any one race, he was a quintessential Christian egalitarian universalist, he rejected inequality, he died, giving his life in a struggle for justice for trash men.  He died for equal justice and the dignity of some of the least among us.  He, in every way, stood against the Darwinian idea of survival of the fittest.   He did so because he, as all real Christians, took the equality, the radical egalitarian content of the Hebrew scriptures to be the very word of God, the very commandment of God (again, see below) that Peter Singer condescendingly says Christians will have to give up because "Darwin".

You can't reconcile the two views of human beings, you can't square Darwinian inequality -without which natural selection can't be real -  with the radical equality of Martin Luther King jr.  and the Hebrew scriptures.    Liberals have to decide which they will believe.  If they choose against MLK jr. liberalism will die, as it largely has.

*  I will point out that in so far as it was their disagreement about vivisection that gave Darwin his excuse to break with Frances Cobbe, the celebrity animal rights-infanticide proponent, Peter Singer's claims about Darwin, such as in this article, lead me to believe he doesn't have the first clue as to what he's talking about.  Either he never read much of Darwin, in full, or he's had that extremely common and so convenient amnesia endemic to the academic class as to what he read him saying or he's flat out lying about it.

It is amazing to me that someone who gets hired by places like Princeton and invited to universities to give highly touted lectures could say what he says here:

Singer also argues that Darwinism has a destructive effect, in that if you accept it, certain other positions are fatally undermined. For example, the idea that God gave Adam, and by proxy, us, dominion over the animal kingdom is a view "thoroughly refuted by the theory of evolution."

I was unsure that those victories are always so straightforward. For example, there are, presumably, many Christians who don’t buy the Adam and Eve creation myth as literal truth. Nevertheless, can’t they live with Darwinism and have their ethics?

"I don’t think Darwinism is incompatible with any Christian ethic," Singer is happy to allow, "except a really fundamentalist one that takes Genesis literally. And it’s not even incompatible strictly with the divine command theory, it just means the divine command theory is based on all sorts of hypotheses which you don’t need because you’ve got other explanations."

So how is the divine command theory undermined by evolution? Couldn’t the Christian, for example, say, yes, evolution is how man came to be, but given there is an is/ought gap, can’t the ethical commands come from on high, as it were?

"Entirely possible. I was just saying that a lot of the impetus for a divine command theory comes from the question ‘where could ethics come from?’. It’s something totally different, out of this world, so therefore you have to assume we’re talking about the will of God or something. Once you have a Darwinian understanding of how ethics can emerge, you absolutely don’t have to assume that, but it’s still possible to assume it. It’s really the ‘I have no need of the hypothesis’ rather than ‘that hypothesis is hereby refuted’."

Not only does that contradict what Darwin said in just about every aspect, it flies in the face of the further use of his theory of natural selection as articulated by him, by his closest colleagues, friends and family members and, in fact, the entire line of Darwinists as mentioned in the first paragraph above.   It would seem that the Darwinism of Singers' "Darwinian Ethics" would be the post-war Darwin myth which can have everything every which way depending on what is needed for the "Ethicist" to make whatever assertion they want to.

Peter Singer is an intellectual fraud.

Update:  I am putting this in bold because it is essential to my point that the radical egalitarian content of The Law of Moses INCLUDED THE FOREIGNER, THE STRANGER THE "OTHER" LIVING AMONG US in its economic justice.  In the words of Leviticus, repeated by Hillel and made even more radical by Jesus, we were to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  There is no more radically anti-Darwinian holding than that.  Unless it is the articulation of it by Jesus that what we do to the least among us we do to God and that we are to love each other as Jesus loved his apostles.   No matter how latter day Darwinists such as Dawkins, Hartung and Macdonald lie about it, The Law was a radical extension of economic and social justice far beyond the Israelites.   The extension of that equality in Christianity continues to include all people.  Any "Christians" fail as Christians in so far as they don't practice that most basic commandment.  It could not be more the opposite of what was invented by Darwin as Natural Selection. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Final Answer For Now

This is going to be the last answer I give in this go-round with the St. Darwin industry.  We have a fascist about to be made president and that is what I'm going to concentrate on.

Everything I pointed out about the depravity of Darwin's writing and that of his inner circle and those claiming Darwinism as the reason for advocating the murders lots of people was known to Darwin during his lifetime,  Charles Darwin mentioned the criticism of that aspect of his theory in The Descent of Man with condescending dismissal.  We know that Darwin knew about it because the Victorian intellectual, feminist and political activist, Frances Cobbe, one of his more exigent early critics, who criticized the moral depravity of Darwinism, NOT THAT IT CONTRADICTED GENESIS,  was an acquaintance of Charles and Emma Darwin.  They knew each other before she wrote her essay,  Darwinism in Morals, which she sent to Darwin before she published it.  Reading it now it's clear that she foresaw the depravity essential to the idea that human progress would come through the deaths of large numbers of people,  that would soon be confirmed in The Descent of Man.
Seeing the applications of Darwinism as law in the United States and Canada, other places and in the most literal application of its scientific declarations, in the Third Reich, Frances Cobbe it is undeniable - if you're honest about it - that her prediction was correct.

Let me say it at once.  These doctrines appear to me simply the most dangerous which have ever been set forth since the days of Mandeville.....  I cannot but believe that in the hour of their triumph would be sounded the knell of the virtue of mankind.

You can hear that knell continuing in the writings advocating the un-personing and murders of such unpersons, by so many genteel and eminent members of that most curiously named profession, "Ethicists", today.  I mentioned last week that Peter Singer wants to make "ethics" a branch of Darwinism.

You can read the earlier echos of that warning in the study that the eminent biologist and quite conventional Darwinist, Vernon Kellogg made of German officers he talked to during the First World War, explicitly giving as the reason of the pre-Nazi beliefs of those officers as "social Darwinism", many of whom were trained in science, one of them known to him as a student of biology during Kellogg's own years at the university.   Only what even by that time came to be called Social Darwinism is exactly the same thing that Darwin, himself claimed over and over again.  Since I wrote that reading about the now largely forgotten practice run of the kind of death camp the Nazis ran, the German slaughter of Africans a decade before World War One was, not only explained in terms of Darwinism but which brought one of the main Nazi race theorists, Eugen Fischer, his scientific renown through his scientific use of the inmates of that death camp, sending parts of those "freshly dead" to his scientific colleagues for their study.   Concentrating the argument and attention on murders of Europeans in Europe in 1939-1945 renders the full depravity of that and pretending that it was unrelated to earlier atrocities and their intellectual foundations in biological sciences.

If you want you can read my post about Kellogg and the earlier genocide linked to above.  Instead of rewriting what I already did about Frances Cobbe's critique that Darwin, himself, dismissed, making it undeniable that he knew what she said,  I'll just repost that piece.

The Offenses of "Miss Cobbe" And Darwin's Condescension 

I have tried to look up all of Darwin's citations in the passages I've used here, some of them have been harder to find than others, as my post a week ago Saturday pointed out.  I decided to see if I could find "Miss Cobbe's" essay that so annoyed Darwin that he did what he so seldom did, cite a woman.  I found it, thanks to Google Books,  Darwinism in Morals and Other Essays by Frances Power Cobbe, a quite radical and early Anglo-Irish feminist and social reformer.  The essay was written in the florid Victorian style but it was far better written than a lot of the other things I've read from the same era by more respected writers - such as all of those anthropologists etc. I poured through last week.

Reading it I was also struck at how it read like Haeckel or Thomas Huxley or a number of other, later Darwinists only, whereas they approved of the same consequences of believing what Darwin said,  Cobbe foresaw the depravity that would logically follow from believing it.

Here's part of what she said.

It must be admitted that these two doctrines between them effectively revolutionize morals, as they have been hitherto commonly understood.  The first dethrones the moral sense from that place of mysterious supremacy which Butler considered its grand characteristic.  Mr Darwin's moral sense is simply an instinct originated, like a dozen others, by the conditions under which we live, but which happens, in the struggle for existence among all our instincts, to resume the upper hand, when no other chances to be in the ascendent.  And the second theory aims a still more deadly blow at ethics, by affirming that not only has our moral sense come to us by a source commanding no special respect, but that it answers to no external or durable, not to say universal or eternal, reality, and is merely tentative and provisional, – the provincial prejudice, that we may describe it, of this little world ad its temporary inhabitants, which would be looked on with a smile of derision by better informed people now living on Mars, or hereafter to be developed on earth, and who, in their turn, may be considered as walking in a vain shadow by other races.  

I'll pause here to say that I'm certain Cobbe was very used to being looked on with such smiles of derision by "better informed people."  I'm sure as a woman, a feminist, a social reformer, she had frequently experienced such smiles of derision of the kind you have to sense Darwin gave her in his debunkery effort.

Instead of Montesquieu''s grand aphorism “La justice est un rapport de convenance, qui se trouve réelle­ment entre deux choses; ce rapport est tou­jours le même; quelque être qui le considère, soit que ce soit Dieu, soit que ce soit un Ange, ou enfin que ce soit un homme”  Mr. Darwin will leave us only the sad assurance that our idea of justice is all our own, and may mean nothing to any other intelligent being in the universe.  It is not even, as Dean Mansel has told us, given us by our Creator as a representative truth, intended at least to indicate some actual transcendent verity behind it.  We have now neither veil nor revelation, but only an earth-born instinct, carrying with it no authority whatever beyond the limits of our race and special social state, nor within them further than we choose to permit it to weigh on our minds. 

Let me say it at once.  These doctrines appear to me simply the most dangerous which have ever been set forth since the days of Mandeville.  Of course, if science can really show good cause for accepting them, their consequences must be frankly faced.  But it is at least fitting to come to an examination of them, conscious that we are criticizing no ordinary problems, but theories whose validity must involve the invalidity of all the sanctions which morality has hitherto received from powers beyond those of the penal laws.  As a matter of practice, no doubt men act in nine cases out of ten with very small regard to their theories of ethics, even when they are thoughtful enough to have grasped any theory at all;  and generations might elapse after the universal acceptance of these new views by philosophers before they would sensibly influence the conduct of the masses of mankind.  But, however slowly they might work, I cannot but believe that in the hour of their triumph would be sounded the knell of the virtue of mankind.  It has been hard enough for tempted men and women heretofore to be honest, true, unselfish, chaste, or sober, while passion was clamoring for gratification or want pining for relief.  The strength of the fulcrum on which has rested the virtue of many a martyr and saint must have been vast as the law of the universe could make it.  But where will that fulcrum be found hereafter, if men consciously recognize that what they have gleaned to be 

“The unwritten law divine, 
Immutable, eternal, not like those of yesterday, 
But made ere Time began,”  Sophecles:  Antigone

The law by which “the most ancient heavens are fresh and strong,” – is, in truth, after all, neither durable nor even general among intelligent beings, but simply consists of those rules of conduct which, among many that might have been adopted, have proved themselves on experiment to be most convenient; and which in the lapse of ages, through hereditary transmission, legislation, education, and such methods, have got woven into the texture of our brains?  What will be the power of such a law as this to enable it to contend for mastery in the soul with any passion capable of rousing the languid impulse?  Hitherto, good men have looked on repentance as the most sacred of all sentiments, and have measured the nearness of the soul to God by the depth of its sense of the shame and heinousness of sin.  The boldest of criminals have betrayed at intervals their terror of the Erinnyes or remorse, against those scourges all religions have presented themselves as protectors, with their devices of expiations, sacrifices, penances, and atonements.  From Orestes at the foot of the altar of Phoebus to the Anglican in his new confessional today;  from the Aztec eating the heart of the victim slain in propitaion for sin to the Hindu obeying the law of Menu, and voluntarily starving himself to death as expiation of his offenses, – history bears testimony again and again to the power of this tremendous sentiment and, if it have driven mankind into numberless superstitions, it has, beyond a doubt, also served as a threat more effective against crime than all the penalties ever enacted by legislators.  But where is repentance to find place hereafter, if Mr. Darwin's view of its nature be received?  Will any man allow himself to attend to the reproaches of conscience, and bow his head to her rebukes, when he clearly understands that it is only his more durable social instinct which is reasserting itself, because the more variable instinct which has cause him to disregard it is temporarily asleep?  Such a physiology of repentance reduces its claims on our attention to the level of those of our bodily wants;  and our grief for a past crime assumes the same aspect as our regret that we yesterday unadvisedly preferred the temporary enjoyment of conversation to the permanent benefit of a long night's rest, or the flavor of an indigestible dish to the wholesomeness of our habitual foo.  We may regret our imprudence, but it is quite impossible we should ever again feel penitence for a sin.  

You can read the passages from Galton, Haeckel, Huxley, and especially the next generation or two dealing with morality and see that she came to pretty much the same conclusions they did about the consequences of Darwin's natural selection and far earlier than most of them.  Only, whereas the Darwinists thought the destruction of the basis of morality was wonderful, she didn't.   Her great offense to Darwin wasn't in what she warned would happen, he already approve of books and other writings  by authors who spelled that out in quite awful detail.  Her offense is in that she didn't think it was a good idea and said so in a quite coherent, quite informed essay.  Or maybe it was that she was a woman while saying it.  I don't think I was imagining very hard when I sensed a sneer in the way Darwin called her "Miss Cobbe".

Frances Cobbe seems to me to have been a quite intelligent person.   Before she wrote her essay she  did what I've noted Darwin's contemporary fans have not done, read him.  And she clearly informed herself as to what its implications were.  And not only Darwin, but many of those in his circle and other figures in science that I'd guess few of Darwin's lay readers have bothered to look at.

Mr. Wallace, in his contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, appears to me to sum up this argument admirably.  After explaing how very inadequate are the Utilitarians' sanctions for truthfulness, and observing how many savages yet make veracity a point of honor, he says: “It is difficult to conceive that such an intense and mystical feeling of right and wrong (so intense as to overcome all ideas of personal advantage or utility) could have been developed out of accumulate ancestral experiences of utility, but still more difficult to understand how feelings developed by one set of utilities could be transferred to acts of which the utility was partial, imaginary, or absent,” – or (as he might justly have added) so remote as to be quite beyond the ken of uncivilized of semi-civilized man.  It is no doubt a fact that, in the long run, truthfulness contributes more than lying to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.  But to discover that fact needs a philosopher, not a savage.  Other virtues, such as that for the weak an age, seem still less capable, as Mr. Mivart has admirably shown of being evolved out of a sense of utility, seeing that savages and animals find it much the most useful practice to kill and devour such sufferers; and, by the law of the survival of the fittest, all nature below civilized man is arrange on the plan of so doing.  Mr. W. R. Gregs very clever paper in Fraser's Magazine, pointing out how natural selection fails in the case of man in consequences of our feelings of pity for the weak, affords incidentally the best possible proof that human society is based on an element which has no counterpart in the utility which rules the animal world.

Of course, Cobbe was writing in the later half of the 19th century and had some ideas we don't generally have and her style isn't modern but, compared to Darwin and his circle, she can seem quite enlightened and, more importantly,  aware of likely practical outcomes in real life.  One of her most noted writings were attacks on laws that allowed husbands to torture their wives, she frankly called it wife torture instead of the euphemisms common then and now.  She was also an anti-vivisectionist, writing a book in which she detailed, in horrifying particularity, the abominably inhumane treatment of animals in the hands of 19th century science.   She had no illusions about what people relieved of moral consideration were capable of doing.  As she shows in her essay, no doubt informed by her knowledge of what the law could allow by way of the stronger exercising dominance and violence against weaker people, she had a clear eyed skepticism that it was sufficient to keep men from being depraved.

The things she read from Darwin and his closest followers were not only claiming some of those things were a social benefit for the survivors but the way of nature, arguing that moral teachings intended to try to lessen the frequency of them were mere illusions, the epiphenomena of evolution with no foundation within themselves.  That was something she got from reading what was being said, not out of any ignorance.

Her predictions of what would come about if Darwin's ideas on morals became generally held are borne out by subsequent history.  That prediction is something she shares with William Jennings Bryan, only she was writing more than a half-century earlier than he was.  Darwin's dismissal of her, which I pointed out in my post yesterday,  is absurd, given what he was saying in the book, proven to be so by what happened when a society was ruled by Darwinian precepts.  Even today, the ultra-Darwinist, Richard Dawkins,  has had to downplay the societal consequences of  Darwinian amorality, explicitly saying that a society ruled by Darwinian principles would be a horrible place to live in, that he wouldn't want to live in one and that we don't have to*.  You can contrast that with what Darwin and many of his disciples, even today, say about the inevitability of natural selection, its inescapable nature overriding human reason and morality.  That is the basis of eugenics.  Only, as Cobbe also showed, Dawkins' kind of utilitarian lite means of avoiding that is entirely inadequate.  Given her predictive abilities and insight gained, no doubt, by her fully facing a more nearly Darwinian-Malthusian society, I'd trust her on that point over Dawkins.

Frances Power Cobbe wasn't your stereotypical Victorian prude.  She was a feminist and, apparently, a lesbian who considered herself to be married to another sufferage activist, Mary Lloyd.  The extent to which their relationship was a physical one was, apparently, kept private between the two of them but, if you followed that last link, you will see their marriage was openly known AND you will read that she knew Charles Darwin.  I haven't been able to look at primary documents but other things I've read said that she met the Darwins and Emma, Charles' wife was quite taken with her.  Another thing I read said that Charles Darwin broke with her when Cobbe published an excerpt** from a letter he had sent her without his permission.  I don't know what that letter concerned, her suffrage, anti-vivisection or other activities.  Or if it dealt with natural selection.  The extent to which Darwin might have seen her marriage with Lloyd as sexual, of her as being a lesbian would be interesting to know.  Despite all of the things he wrote about sex,  in his letters Darwin comes off as pretty prudish about sex, preferring the prospects of bloody struggle to birth control because if women could have sex without worrying about pregnancy they might enjoy it and become promiscuous, more about that next week.

What I've read of her writings the past two weeks, "Miss Cobbe" was anything but an insignificant and ignorant critic of Darwin.  She obviously read and understood the background material quite comprehensively, at least what was available in English.  It's a kind of scholarship she brought to her other critical writing, even on the topic of religion, in which she also seems to have been anything but conservative.  She was not troubled by the idea of evolution, early in her essay, she shows she is informed and the idea doesn't seem to much bother her.  She, unlike many scientists, took the experience and suffering of animals seriously.  That would indicate that she saw real and significant bonds between human beings and other animals.  She did have the strongest problem with the idea of natural selection as a prescription for human behavior and the destruction of morality that Darwin's strongest supporters, those whose understanding of him, he confirms, were already  promulgating.  Since Darwin knew her and she was famously outspoken, he must have realized she was not an ignorant or superficial critic.  His dismissal was, I'd have to say, him exercising his male privilege because he had no real answer to her arguments.  He couldn't because she could cite him and his closest circle to refute them.  And he would have known that, which is why he had to try to make her seem ridiculous or insignificant.  

Note:  The issue of women according to Darwinism is one that could fill another series.  I haven't dealt with it here but I have read some of the contemporary criticism of Darwin's theory regarding women, all of that from women.  I may get around to writing on that in the future.

I am very comfortable with the idea that we can override biology with free will. Indeed, I encourage people all the time to do it. Much of the message of my first book, "The Selfish Gene," was that we must understand what it means to be a gene machine, what it means to be programmed by genes, so that we are better equipped to escape, so that we are better equipped to use our big brains, use our conscience intelligence, to depart from the dictates of the selfish genes and to build for ourselves a new kind of life which as far as I am concerned the more un-Darwinian it is the better, because the Darwinian world in which our ancestors were selected is a very unpleasant world. Nature really is red in tooth and claw. And when we sit down together to argue out and discuss and decide upon how we want to run our societies, I think we should hold up Darwinism as an awful warning for how we should not organize our societies.

**  I would be interested if anyone has looked at Darwin's practice in citing other peoples' letters were.  He seems to have had no problem doing so in private correspondence, I doubt that he always sought permission to do so, and not in full.  His son, Francis, in publishing his father's letters after his death, did what Cobbe apparently did.

Update:  Rereading this, Cobbe's analysis of Greg's article, subverting his eugenics argument to point out the inadequacy of the theory of natural selection to explain human society,  was rather ingenious.   It is gratifying to see her getting a bit of hers back in her description of it.  Or at least that's how it feels, having read Greg's article in all its pretty disgusting,  bigoted contortions.   Her having lived in Ireland and, having seen the famine's results more closely than Greg or Darwin had, I can only imagine what she must have thought of their bigotry on that point.

Update 2:   I found this, containing some of what Frances Cobbe had to say about her relationship with Darwin.  According to her it was Darwin's and her disagreement over vivisection that led to their falling out.  She specifically notes that she sent her review to Darwin for review and posts some of his response.  Considering how he characterized it in his book, I'm surprised they didn't fall out of that.

Liberals Got Taken For Real Suckers By NPR

Being trapped in the car with someone listening to it for the past hour,  it's obvious that there is no Republican-fascist so vile, so obviously illegitimate that NPR and the majority of the unrestrained, unregulated press wouldn't be falling over each other to go down on bended knee to them and propping up the foulest they could do.  I remember noticing that difference in coverage between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, it is far worse today.  

Really, the best thing that could be done with NPR would be to close it down, "educational radio" was better before NPR spread its hegemony over it to become what it has today.  

If there is one thing that we now know it is that unregulated, unrestrained, media given a carte blanche to lie to serve its own interests, the interests of its owners or financial backers will not only fail to serve democracy, it will undermine it in the interest of its profits and those of its backers.  

NPR should have died more than thirty years ago during the financial crisis brought on by mismanagement in the early 80s.

Liberals were such suckers for them, bailing them out even as they were selling us out.