Saturday, February 18, 2017

Second Feature - James W. Nichol - Peggy Delaney - Identity Crisis

Another series written by James W. Nichol about a hard-boiled newspaper columnist. Unfortunately, this isn't nearly as dated as it's supposed to be. 

Starring Kyra Harper as Peggy Delaney
John Stocker as Bernie Sniderman
J. W. Carroll as Nick Bauer

Caterina Scorsone as Amber

Lots of people played in the episodes, luckily the credits in this recording  were pretty clear. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Kevin Brew - Flight Risk

Ellie Kisyombe, Elizabeth
Dylan Tighe, Pilot
Kathy Rose O’Brien, Stewardess

other voices:  Joe Duffy, the Liveline callers Felix Dzamara, Diana and Maria.

As ususal with RTE, you have to download the podcast to hear it but this is another timely piece during the Trump regime. 

Hate Mail - "As if Americans are going to act like Christians are supposed to"

If the problem with America is that too many Christians are hypocrites about their Christianity and aren't being Christian enough,  wouldn't it also stand to reason that it's as much a problem that atheists and others aren't being Christian enough?

I mean, your snark admits that Christians acting like Christians would be the answer.  Things like doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (which as the saying continues is "the Law and the Prophets" is, actually, about as Jewish a saying as there is), doing to the least among us as we would to God, giving away money to the poor....  That would produce egalitarian democracy.    And if that's the case, isn't it also the answer for anti-Christians like you, too?

Another question, if Christianity teaches the morality that's needed, isn't that an argument for the validity of Christianity?   I'm far more inclusive than that,  I think all of the traditions that come from the Jewish scriptures contain  moral truth sufficient to produce egalitarian democracy.   Others may as well.  What doesn't and after my long and hard search within it can't seem to contain it is materialism.

There is a reason real democracy, the only form that has any right to the word in the modern period, egalitarian democracy, arose where it did was due to the moral prerequisites for it being present in large enough numbers of people.   Where the people have lost that, in the West due to a replacement with market-consumer and materialist-scientistic ideology, democracy becomes impossible to maintain. 

Update: Oh, no, I doubt I'm in much danger of having Simels' buddies at Eschaton read what I say, they're not great readers and don't seem to be able to comprehend what they don't already believe to start with.  I wonder if there's a name for that.  Confirmation-bias-dyslexia?   I'd say it's Simels' mother tongue if he didn't share Mendacity with Kellyanne, Sean, Donald, et al. 

Kellyanne Conway's interview tricks, explained

This is hard to watch but it's important to see how these Republican-fascists sell their lies.

The industry in selling lies is one of the most important creations of the media in the Age of Lies which has produced Trump just as it produced Putin in Russia.  As it points out in the end of the video, it is the media that keeps having her on, just as it has had on her boss, the guy who lied himself into the Oval Office on cabloid TV.

Secularism That Denies The Moral Absolutes Necessary To Create Democracy Will Kill It

Democracy depends on a number of things, absolutely.  It can't exist where its necessary precursors aren't present.  Without those things democracy cannot exist.  In one of his lectures going on three years ago, Walter Brueggemann pointed out two things he considered absolutely vital to a democracy, an independent judiciary and an independent press.  He pointed out, three years before Trump! that under the Obama administration the Justice Department was headed by Eric Holder who, a fully invested member of the corporate establishment had failed to bring a single prosecution of the people who caused the financial meltdown of 2008 and he noted that the media that matters is almost completely in the hands of the billionaires, the corporate elite.  That is why, the other night, Rachel Maddow could discuss the dark and dire implications of the meeting of the fascist Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner with the head of Time Warner to complain about CNN's coverage of the Trump regime.

For about the fortieth time, I'll point out that, for all the horrific results for the American media in the Trump regime, he is their creation through such as the parent company of Rachel Maddow's show and the "reality" show he was on and through her own network's free time given to him on Morning Joe.   And, you can add such things as the quarter of a century of lies told about Hillary Clinton by just about the entire media up to and including the New York Times.   While I certainly see Maddow's point, I'm having a really hard time summoning a lot of sympathy for the media, even as I see that they are in danger of being crushed by the jack oxfords of a piece of shit like Jared Kushner on behalf of his fake-fur-fuhrer father-in-law.   Donald Trump is a product of the media regime that the secularists of such groups as the ACLU and the Supreme Court gave us.  He is a product of their secular assertion of free-speech-free-press absolutism, an absolutism which included a permission to lie.   That such people as Peter Thiel and his scummy lawyer-strategist have turned the tables on such media advocates of their right to lie, is an irony, it isn't shockingly unjust, it is an unsurprising result of the damage such "free speech" absolutism did to democracy, insuring fascism through their short-sighted regime of lying about people like Hillary Clinton with impunity.  And now Thiel's lawyer is working for the Trump crime family.

But, as you know, I have gone farther than that first floor level of what a democracy needs to exist and why if it is not based on a bedrock of moral absolutes being held with sufficient firmness by a large number, an effective majority of people in a population, democracy will probably never really happen and it will never be secure.   I've been through that a number of times and why the very assumptions of secular, modernist, materialist society cannot provide that moral foundation of democracy.

In order for democracy to exist, people who can or who merely believe they can rig things to get gain by violating rights and the good of other people, the environment, the economy, etc.  must be in the minority.  An effectively and continually defeated minority.  Those who believe they must not do those things with sufficient strength to keep them from doing or trying to do those things to rig things in their favor must be an effective majority, under our insane federalist system, they have to be an effective majority in enough states to prevent people from electing exactly the kinds of presidents our country has been electing for the past fifty years and Congresses such as we've been getting consistently and in ever worsening strength since the Reagan era.

I have challenged atheists, materialists, etc. to say where those moral bases of democracy can come from with sufficient strength to be politically efficacious without belief in a God who gives commandments and have never gotten a real answer to that question.  I understand their position, or, rather, their superstitious assumption that that was possible, with my witness to the United States in the past sixty years, I used to believe it myself.  I no longer believe it, at all.

I don't think that even a purported belief in such a God is sufficient.  People have to believe in the right kind of God with the right kind of moral commandments to produce democracy.  Unless someone believes that there will be consequences for himself or herself in not treating people as we would want to be treated, that that commandment comes from a God who will punish such injustice, their inhibition out of mere social expectation or habit or disinclination will not be effective enough to have that effect.

Magnified through a population trained in market-corporate-consumerist ideology and depravity over an entire country, magnified through a country trained by "reality" TV and cabloid "news" I think it is impossible for such a population to generate the continual political effect that democracy must be to exist.  I think we are on the verge of finding out that even that idol of secular superstition The Constitution with its Bill of Rights cannot produce or protect democracy without a population which is convinced that doing injustice will have the most horrific results, immediately or eventually.

I think that, when you read the Prophets, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, etc. you will see that the warnings about that are contained all through them, it is why they spoke prophetically.   Only, now, we will find that secular prophesy won't do the same thing because it doesn't start with the only thing that will work, it doesn't contain the moral and, yes, religious basis that is essential for democracy.  I don't think the quasi-deist-quasi-agnostic-quasi-atheist, 18th century materialists built anything into the Bill of Rights or the Constitution that will do it.  There is a reason that virtually all of the great 19th century movements to remake the United States into a real, egalitarian democracy began as religious movements and why, as they turned secular that they lost steam and petered out into the ineffective form it took at the end of the 20th century and on to today.

I have come to the conclusion that unless the religious traditions, the Hebrew-Christian-Islamic tradition that contains those commandments for justice are revived, democracy will disappear.  To not say that, having looked at how we lost democracy, would be as bad as anything Trump is doing to this country and the world.  I think the only hope is for the people who really believe that to convince an effective electoral majority to be part of a secure foundation for egalitarian democracy.   Any secularism which doesn't include that bedrock of moral absolutism has failed, secularism that is anything other than an administration of egalitarian justice in light of diversity of belief but which admits to that bedrock of egalitarian faith as an absolute will impede democracy.

Friday, February 17, 2017

This is how insane Donald Trump is.

I Didn't Know About the Desus & Mero Talk Show But Their Interview With Rachel Maddow Is Really Great

Image result for photo michael flynn putin jill stein

This famous picture of the disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn with Vladimir Putin has a another person at the table I hadn't heard anyone else but Rachel Maddow point out, in the lower right of the photo is no one else but the Green Party's Putin, Republican-fascist spoiler, Dr. Jill Stein.  

I don't know if I'll be listening to Desus & Mero but I certainly am grateful for them and Rachel Maddow to have pointed this out.

The Green Party is just another phony lefty party that a Russian dictator is using to screw American liberalism.    Democrats need to destroy the Green Party. 

Profiles In Courage Aren't What Will Get Trump Removed Profiles In Self-Interest On A Critical Margin of Republicans Might

The Republican Party is in total control of the executive and the Congress.  Now, after the press disaster Trump insisted on holding yesterday,  it's clear he is literally and dangerously insane.  Every hour he is in the White House he is doing immense damage to the country and the world.  The biggest question looming over us like impending disaster is how Republicans are going to remove him from office and how long that will take.  

Susan Collins, other allegedly responsible Republicans are where the pressure has to be put because the only thing that would get Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to show the responsibility to do that is a loss of their own power.  I'm not expecting any profiles in courage from the people who supported some of the worst appointments to government positions in history but that's where we come in.  We've got to put maximum pressure on Susan Collins and her like.  

Hate Mail - It's The Victims Of Marxists, Nazis, Fascists, the KKK Who Deserve My Concern Not Those Who Favor Dictators and Their Oppressive Ideiologies

One of the worst parts of the Communist suckering of liberals was liberals falling for their sob stories when their close ideological allies in the worship of dictatorship and despots on the right did mean things to them.

I recognize absolutely no right to my support or concern of any Nazi, fascist, communist, Marxist, or anyone who advocates the theoretical denial of rights, oppression or murder of any people.

I don't agree that anyone who supports a dictator of their ideological side who is actually denying people of rights has the right to my support of them having exactly the same rights their guy obliterates along with the people who own those rights.

The fans of "the right kind" of oppression, denial of rights and murder don't own a right to my support.

THE VICTIMS OF THE OPPRESSION, DENIAL OF RIGHTS AND MURDERS THEY FAVOR UNDER THEIR PREFERRED IDEOLOGICAL DICTATOR HAVE A RIGHT TO MY SUPPORT AND A RIGHT TO EXPECT ME TO OPPOSE THOSE WHO WOULD OPPRESS AND MURDER THEM.  It is a moral travesty for liberals to give the advocates of oppression a second or cent of support that rightly belongs to those they advocate oppressing.  

The greatest act of both disastrously misplaced concern for liberals in the 20th century and of moral cowardice and betrayal was liberals spending a single second of concern, a single penny of support for the Communists who supported exactly the same kind of oppressors and murderers that Nazis and fascists did.  In fact the idiocy that "we must support the rights of Nazis and fascists to advocate mass murder and oppression and destruction of every part of the First amendment or those rights could be taken from "us" could well be taken for that "us" to mean "those poor, dear, suppressed Marxists".   The part that that idiocy of the half-brain dead ACLU* had in creating and imposing Trump on us through such advocacy is something I'd study if I had the time.

It would have been ever so much more convincing if they'd advocated that the people in the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, China, North Korea, etc be given the same rights there which they claimed a right to, here.

I think it is sheer idiocy for liberals to worry about the rights of Nazis, fascists, white supremacists, .... or communists to advocate the possibility that egalitarian democracy be replaced with those ideologies with a proven record of murdering and oppressing.   They got their test of time as, with the rise of Trump, has the idiotic idea that fascist ideologies should get a "fair hearing" to try to impose fascism here.  I'm far more interested in the truly superior and truly endangered right that the victims of fascism, Nazis, white supremacists, .....  communists and the potential victims of those systems have TO NOT BE PUT IN DANGER BY IDIOT UPPER CLASS, MOSTLY WHITE, MOSTLY IVY-LEAGUE AFFLUENT, MOSTLY NOT ENDANGERED LEGAL HACKS AND MEDIA SCRIBBLERS.

Communists have no more of a right to me worrying about their present or past ability to impose their ideology on us than Nazis or the Klan do.  There is no such right, it is abolished by their advocacy of the abolition and abridgment of rights for everyone, especially the rights of other people who are in present danger.

Oh, and one of the big lessons of the Trump disaster is this:

No liars of any kind have a right to lie, the idea that there is a right to lie is one of the stupidest things anyone of any ideological stripe has ever asserted.  Lies enable dictators, lies kill democracy.  And communists have been some of our bigger liars. 

*  With the advocacy of the ACLU of allowing the most severely paranoid, schizophrenic and other insane people to buy guns, automatic weapons right now, after the wave of mass killings in the United States, I declare them entirely brain-dead.  The ACLU has always had a double-act in which they mixed some advocacy of rights of innocent people with the far more dangerous allege right of some of the most dangerous people in our country to lie themselves into power, many of them who are now inside the White House.

If the big-brains of the ACLU can't discern the difference between people who favor equal rights and democracy from Nazis, Communists and violent white-supremacists they're too stupid to put our faith in.   We need a responsible, smart alternative to the damned ACLU.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sonny Boy Williamson - Nine Below Zero 1951

I'd started listening to the radio dramas Midnight Cab again and, since Sonny Boy Williamson is Walker Devereaux's favorite artist - mentioned all through the series - I've been listening to him too.  This will be going through my head the next time I wake up with cold feet, alone in my cold bed. 

Keep it to Yourself

Simps is such an expert in Motown that he doesn't know the difference between the Supremes who I've never exactly been a big fan of and the great Martha and the Vandellas who I loved.  I guess to him they all look alike. 

Update:  And, look, I had to point that out to him a year and four months ago when the idiot made the same mistake.

Update:  How odd, Simels, I didn't recall and can't see in my archive that I've ever written about The Supremes, the girl group, not the criminals of the Supreme Court, I've written lots about them.   I don't recall writing anything about Diana Ross and the others.  I think you mean the several things I've written about Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.  I loved Martha and the Vandellas.  Was never big on the Supremes, neither the girl-group nor the old crooks in robes.  Apparently they're all the same to you.   Needless to say, as usual, you're wrong. 

Update 2:  I'm not wasting my time reminding you of anything Simps, you just lie no matter how many times someone points the truth out to you.  You and the guy who provides you a message board for your lies have so much more in common with Trump than you'd ever want anyone to notice.  Lying, mostly, stupidity, too. 

It's Just A Matter Of Time Till The Buggy Whip Market Takes Off!* - Hate Mail

That, in 2017, the very centennial year of the disastrous Russian Revolution that ushered in the great and horrific experiment in dialectical-materialist, atheist MARXIST governments with the results which were anything but a workers paradise, a great and new period of light and good and freedom or even logic, a period when we, in the West got to witness that experience with its slave labor plantations, concentration camps, mass murders that match and surpass those of the past ...  


The goddamned Marxists have been THE millstone around the neck of American liberals since the first attention-seeking "I'm the most leftist in the room" assholes that started pushing it inflicted themselves and their red-fascist ideology on us, dragging us down, discrediting us, splitting us, deceiving us, AND LET ME POINT THAT OUT AGAIN, DISCREDITING US FOR A CENTURY AND LONGER - the last thing any American who favors egalitarian democracy, civil liberties, economic justice (yeah, they got lots of that under communism, didn't they) needs is for asshole quasi-academic scribblers to push Marxism in major venues of the American would-be left.  Any magazine that is still pushing that is what should be considered discredited.  NO ONE WANTS MARXISM. NOT EVEN MARXISTS, ESPECIALLY NOT MARXISTS WHO HAVE CONTROL OF GOVERNMENTS.   Their only big accomplishment in American politics was destroying the Socialist Party in 1919 which, considering how many of them had fallen for Marxism by that time, it was probably inevitable.  

Socialism has suffered what is probably a fatal discrediting due to the Marxist appropriation and distortion if not actual destruction of the original idea.   Economic justice, egalitarian democracy, civil rights, workers ownership of the means of production, Marxists gluing themselves to those ideas like diseased and poisonous limpets and hagfish has not done the left any favor.  

Marxism is an attempt to construct the least bad materialist political regime, which WILL NOT BE DEMOCRATIC.  The experience of history shows that whenever you begin without egalitarian democracy as the foundation that what you'll get is an oppressive dictator, how badly the dictator will oppress being merely a variable, not a difference in quality.  Marx, being a 19th century materialist-atheist with massive pretensions to a scientific method that was endemic among such folk, couldn't imagine human beings having the capacity to govern themselves.  Apparently neither can the people who, after a century of seeing what Marxism really is in real life, are still pushing it on an American public who aren't stupid enough to want it.   They should be shoved out of any left that hopes to produce egalitarian democracy, civil rights, economic and social justice and, if it turns out to be necessary to secure those, workers ownership of the means of production.  

* or Dump the Marxists. Already. 

We Must Change The Constitution To Prevent This Ever Happening Again

Now with today's press - I can't even think of a word for it - and there is no denying that Donald Trump isn't just mildly out of it, he's floridly insane, the biggest question is how irresponsible will Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan be before they do the only responsible thing available to them, remove him from the presidency and send him PERMANENTLY into treatment.  

I'm not optimistic and these days optimistic means that they'll do that eventually before the worst having a total, raving nutcase and his insane neo-Nazi staff in the White House can come to.  Even if that takes time, every hour he and his lie spewing, emolument seeking admin - I can't even think of a term for it - mafia of the mentally ill forms the executive is more serious and immense and irreparable damage to the country and the world is happening.   

I'm not optimistic about the results of them removing him from office and having someone as incompetent as Pence in there but at least he's not totally insane and he would not dare to keep on the likes of Bannon and Kushner and Miller.   But that's the best scenario and I'm not confident that Ryan and McConnell, afraid of the neo-Nazi-totally-ignorantly-insane faction of the Republican-fascist party would remove Trump no matter what it costs the country, they would never risk their position in the House and Senate to save the country.


Not If You're Waiting For The Movies To Let It be Seen

Brokhshtiker (Shards) by Peretz Markish, Voice : Shane Baker, Neon Animation : Jack Feldstein

 Now, when my vision turns in on itself,
 My shocked eyes open, all their members see
 My heart has fallen like a mirror on
 A stone and shatters, ringing, into splinters.

 Piece by piece I'll try to gather them
 To make them whole with stabbed and bleeding fingers.
 And yet, however skillfully they're glued,
 My crippled, broken image will be seen.

I took that text from this, one of the few accounts of The Murdered Poets  I was able to find online.  It has some other translations of other poems and more detail about the poets and the events that led to their murder.   Here's now it ends, note there is a poem by Lieb Kvitko in the text.  That is what led me to find it online, looking for what they got killed for saying.

Stalin's systematic postwar murder of Jews effectively took up where Hitler had left off. His ferocious assault was mounted against the whole Jewish people, and all of them suffered. In consequence, the Yiddish language and its culture in the Soviet Union sustained its most grievous blow. The trial of 1952 did more than wipe out some of the best Yiddish literary talents of the century; it completed the destruction of Yiddish in Europe. Always vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening enemies, Yiddish in the Soviet Union could not survive the betrayal of the hope the Revolution had awakened for it. Perhaps nothing is more devastatingly broken than an idealistic heart, nothing more cruelly cut off than the unfulfilled promise of youth. With terrible irony, the acrid words in which Leyb Kvitko had years before grieved over the pogroms of the Civil War years now provided an epitaph for both the poets and their language:

 A Russian death
 Is death of all deaths.
 Russian pain,
 Pain of all pains.

 Does the world's wound ooze pus?
 How does its heart do now?
 Ask any child,
 Ask any Jewish child. 

If, as Stalin had decreed, it was a crime to mourn the martyrs of the Holocaust, a crime to value one's Jewish heritage, a crime to treasure the language of the Torah, a crime to be a proud and identifying Jew, to care deeply about continued Jewish identity and survival in a bloodthirsty world, then those writers condemned were all, without question, guilty. To lesser or greater degrees, their creativity, even when exercised under the severest constraints, was indelibly stamped with the stigmata of their Jewishness. Whatever disavowals may have been forced from them during the long agony of their imprisonment and trial, the work they left behind belies them. The Yiddish language in which they shaped their utterance became the small voice of a betrayed and beaten Jewishness. Its memory deserves honor; its shapers, our respect.

Geesh, you'd think this is something that would have gotten some attention from American movie makers.  Though, if the truth matters, that's probably not without its good points.

Is The Trump White House High?

The Day The Pony Died - Bye-bye Eschaton Jr High


Atrios and Eschaton are Dead

When criticizing Atrios, I always feel obliged to note that he gave me my first big link, and I appreciate that. I also think he's often funny as hell. That whole pony schtick, for instance, cracks me up.

But Eschaton is not a good blog anymore. In fact, it's a pretty bad one. I breeze by every now and then because he's got his finger on the pulse of the leftosphere. But that's basically the only reason. I think Eschaton may even be worse than Instapundit now. Neither of those blogs contains much by way of analysis, of course. Both are mostly link factories. But the hints and snippets of analysis both have are, well, of rather low quality.
And that was eleven years ago. The pony thing ended when one of his most prominent regulars, "Holden Caulfield" stopped going there and I never thought it was all that funny.  Mildly amusing, maybe, not any funnier than that.  These days Duncan doesn't have his finger on much of anything now except his kickbacks from and his annual begging week.  Most of his most interesting regulars - and at Eschaton it's the comments that are the only thing like substance to it since at least 2006 -  just about all of them stopped going because they came to the same conclusions that this blogger had.  Several of them commented on the blog post back then, all but two of those I recognized stopped going to Eschaton, at least one of them openly fed up with what it had become, as well.  One of the two who are still regulars at Baby Blue is Simps biggest rival for the title of biggest liar there, the other one one of the guys who said Inherit the Wind was historically accurate.

After a promising start with the encouragement of "The Horse" of Media Whores Online, Duncan early petered out and just kept it going to get money from it.  I don't even know if he bothers with the automatic open thread posting, these days.   It's a long way from when he regularly had 1,000+ or close to it comment threads, sometimes several in one day.

He does attract gossip, time wasting, people using it like a 12-year-old posting what they're eating for lunch, to talk about their uninteresting lives and people who lie and dish like the biggest assholes in your grade 7 class.  Which is the only reason I'm posting this, now.  I get seriously libeled there several times just about every week.  If he didn't do that, I'd never bother with it.  If you think I should just ignore it, you try being in my position and see if you still think you should just ignore it.

Interestingly, as I recently had reason to just a couple of weeks back, he was talking about Kevin Drum in relation to Duncan back then, which may be the reason someone called my attention to this almost eleven year old post.

So what happend to Eschaton? I'd say that Atrios used to be less partisan and foolish than Glenn Reynolds, but now I'd say he's worse. What made the difference, if there is, in fact, a difference? Could it be because Atrios included comments and Reynolds didn't? They both play to the crowd, but only Atrios has an adoring chorus hanging on his every word. Dunno. It's just a hypothesis: don't take it too seriously.

Anyway, I won't be commenting on anything at Eschton anymore, as it's just not worth my time to stop by there. Better to spend my time at, say, The Washington Monthly, where Kevin Drum keeps getting better and better, rather than worse and worse. Is Drum smarter than Atrios? Maybe, but I can't tell. Drum is more intellectually honest, and that's more important than being smarter. That's good news, though, for Atrios, actually. It means he could still turn things around if he wanted to. We can't always become smarter, but we can almost always become better. And that's the really important thing.

If Duncan could have become better he obviously didn't choose to.  I wouldn't accuse him of being too partisan, though I agree with just about all of the rest of it.  He's not smarter than Kevin Drum, Kevin Drum works for a real magazine, writing real posts, several times a day.  Mostly the only time he gets it seriously wrong is if he parrots the neo-atheist line, other than that he's mostly spot on. Duncan is an example of wasted potential.

I Just Got A Text That Simps Is Whining About Me Dissing The Movies

I knew THAT would be the thing he waxed wroth over, not something like Stalin murdering Jews, mounting what could have turned into a full blown, Hitler sized pogrom if that great hero of dialectical materialism hadn't died in his own filth, to be mourned by many an American commie, or Darwin agreeing that democracy was scientifically invalid or that he and so many college educated functional illiterates had been sold lies as history.  

How he would be able to judge, he never having read even a third rate book, is something I wouldn't waste my time asking.  I was thinking of not posting the post I wrote the other day but it's going up as soon as I reedit it. 

Prophets Now! -- Nahum Ward-Lev

I wish they'd edited out the technical glitch during the lecture section and edited out the "pair and share" sections that are inaudible, the rest of it is worth listening to and comparing it with the very similar conclusions that Walter Brueggemann came to in the one I posted last week. 

I've got tons of snow to move, I'm going to have to get up on the roof, if this is my last post you'll know I broke my fool neck. 

In Memory of Stuart McLean

The Stuart McLean Camp Kanawana Fund

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

American in Jeopardy for 10: Stephen Miller .

Who would have expected Joseph Goebbels to come back in his form? 

Stuart McLean, CBC Radio host and award-winning humorist, dead at 68

I really liked Stuart McLean, not so much his Dave stories, though some of those were good, I liked his other writing he did for his show and his other work for the CBC.    Younger than me.  I wish people would stop dying younger than me.  At least the ones I like.  They always die too young. 

The Enormous Cost of Trump’s War on Immigrants


I don't generally, ever, really, voluntarily watch clips form "Morning Joe" but I had one sent to me this morning in which Joe Scarborough walks back his statement yesterday that Kellyanne Conway was a liar.

This matter of slicing and dicing the definition of "liar" in order to let a massive and pathological media liar like Kellyanne Conway off the hook for her very consequential lies, told in an unending flow, virtually whenever she opens her mouth in front of a mic has got to stop.


It is not as if Kellyanne Conway hasn't been caught in enough lies, as if her male colleagues Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, their fake-fur-fuhrer,  Donald Trump haven't been caught and called on lies scores of times, in some cases hundreds of times, in public.  It's not as if any of their public and publicly consequential lies were a once or even dozenth exception to a history of truth telling.  These people lie like most people exhale.  And they do so while holding serious positions of the most serious power in the world.

They don't get the benefit of a doubt when they lie, the media that has them on, over and over had the record of their serial lying back when no one thought that by a fluke in our brain-dead constitution Donald Trump as Commander in Chief could actually happen.   Now that that horror is playing out right before our horrified eyes, they don't get to get them off the hook.

I do perceive in their line since the Michael Flynn scandal broke that they are trying to protect their back up option of Mike Pence.   When it's clear that Joe and Mika are seeing the end of the Trump regime and getting ready for the former and disastrous governor of Indiana to take his place, that they're trying to shield him from the firestorm that is inevitable.   And that's assuming that the Republican-fascists in the Congress will go that route and remove the clearly insane Donald Trump from the presidency.  That's not a sure bet, if Mitch McConnell suspects that his idiot constituency would turn him out of office if he did that, he would keep Trump in office no matter what a disaster the consequences are.

The media, the free and unregulated press created Trump, TV and Hollywood created Trump.  They created him with lies, fictions, make-believe and salesmenship.  The same values that cabloid "news" are run by.  The very least they can do for penance is to stop shielding the liars they put in charge of our government.

The founders in their inexperience and philosophical fantasy had no idea for the potential the media could have to install a dictator over us, there is no reason for us to not learn from this disaster and fix their lapse.   The experience of the past two centuries, not some superstitious, Ouija board "originalism" is what we need.  Anyone, even someone who graduated from Harvard Law and clerked at the Supreme Court who denies we must take advantage of those hardest of hard lessons should be taken seriously for a single second.  They are legalistic and political flat-Earthers lying for the same oligarchs who imposed Trump on us.

Trump is Beyond Reckless With Our National Security

"that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic" About a Conversation I Had Last Night

In talking about yesterday's topic with a friend he raised the possibility that Clarence Darrow had never seriously considered the political and social consequences of Darwinism until the trial and that he, as well as William Jennings Bryan, saw the anti-democratic and proto-fascist consequences of believing it.  And that might have been why he wrote that article.  It is plausible, though it's clear in the article that he didn't put the time into studying the issue that Bryan did in his speech.  

And, before anyone goes another bubble out of level over that,  the anti-democratic nature of natural selection was something noted by Darwin's closest German colleague and associate,  Ernst Haeckel in his book "Freedom in Science and Teaching," a book which I believe was translated into English by a member of Darwin's inner circle, Ray Lankester and which in the English translation was definitely prefaced by Darwin's foremost propagandist, Thomas Huxley and about which Darwin wrote to Haeckel  " I admire the whole of it.  It is a most interesting essay and I agree with all of it."   Haeckel was no outlier or insignificant figure in the history of Darwinism, his elucidation of natural selection had Darwin's and his English speaking inner-circle's endorsement as genuine.  

Besides, Darwinism, the theory of natural selection—which Virchow aimed at in his denunciation, much more especially than at transformation, the theory of descent—which is often confounded with it—Darwinism, I say, is anything rather than socialist! If this English hypothesis is to be compared to any definite political tendency—as is, no doubt, possible—that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic, and least of all socialist. The theory of selection teaches that in human life, as in animal and plant life everywhere, and at all times, only a small and chosen minority can exist and flourish, while the enormous majority starve and perish miserably and more or less prematurely. 

You can see how that would be something the most regressive of today's Republican-fascists would love people to believe is scientific fact, as, in fact, their aristocratic predecessors in England, the United States, Canada, and Germany did.  I have every confidence that the adoption of natural selection and, as an inevitable consequence, eugenics was aided by that class having complete control of universities and science.  You can also see how it is something that Clarence Darrow wouldn't find congenial.  You can also see that as early as the late 1870s, Charles Darwin agreed with a statement of his theory that sounds like something Hitler or Hess would have said fifty years later.  

Perhaps, like almost every ignorant St. Darwin worshiper among today's college-educated sect who have never read much, if anything, he ever wrote, the consequences of facing that fact about their idol was emotionally inhibiting.   Though I think the actual content of and consequences of a belief in natural selection is what is the problem.   Forget about ol' Chuck, certainly the theatrical-cinematic dummy of him which is as much as most people know.  

Darrow as a prominent figure in the radical-liberal pantheon of his time would have had a hard time pointing that out, though I doubt a lawyer as good as he was, once he had the facts put before him, could have merely ignored what he saw.  He just couldn't bring himself to risk his respectability on his political-social side by telling the whole truth about it, choosing, instead to attack one of its more malignant manifestations instead of the source of it.  I don't have any, so I'm a heretic.  Respectability, that is.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hate Mail

Someone is whining at me, with a quote from a sciency blog that Clarence Darrow's piece was more scathing about eugenics than anything William Jennings Bryan wrote.

Well, one of the reasons he might think that could have been because Bryan died within days of the end of the trial.  He was an old and quite sick man when he participated in it.

What Bryan said in his ungiven final speech for the trial about the relationship of Darwinism - natural selection - to eugenics was, in fact, a far more basic and far more extensive criticism of the entire intellectual complex it rested in than Darrow's piece.  Perhaps your expert who wrote that blog post was unaware of the text of Bryan's final argument.

And, lest it be forgotten, eugenics was mainstream science in the 1920s.  While there were anti-eugenics biologists, it's quite likely that in the English speaking world, they were in the minority.  The entire literature of eugenics was based, explicitly and absolutely, on the theory of natural selection.

Even after the war many Darwinists - and by then just about all people in the sciences were Darwinists due to the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1930s, lots of the most eminent among them were and still are eugenicists, only those such as Francis Crick advocated their especially racist form of it mostly among his fellow scientists.  Some, such as one of the major figures in forming the neo-Darwinian synthesis, Ronald Fisher were, after the war, vehement eugenicists and scientific racists based on nothing except their belief in natural selection.   William Jennings Bryan was far more insightful on those matters - predicting the horrors he didn't live to see -  than a lot of your heroes of the past or those of today who don't have an ignorance of what eugenics would lead to to cover their asses in their eugenics advocacy.   Get back to me when the likes of the writers at Panda's Thumb go over that post-war eugenics junk.

Hollywood Was Doing "Alternative-Facts" Before Kellyanne Made Them Controversial

I wasn't planning on writing about a second-rate movie this morning but that's what I'm doing.  A college-degreed guy mistaking the movie Inherit the Wind for accurate history is good evidence of the role that Hollywood and show biz have had in creating, not only the persona of Donald Trump but his great tool for building fascism "alternative-facts".

Despite many of its fans, many of them being holders of college and university degrees, believing the movie represents history, if its authors intention was to give people that impression - which I believe the script writers intended - they were as loose with the truth as Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon and, in an ever longer stream of Trumpian liars, Stephen Miller are.  Lies you might like are as much lies as lies you don't like.  None of them are any species of facts, none of them are true.

Just a few of the lies sold in the movie.

The trial didn't just happen because a brave soul, a dedicated science teacher, chose to flout the law and teach Darwinian evolution to his high school class.  The ACLU had advertised for someone to do that so they could press a test case.  Local citizens of Dayton Tennesse, including the superintendent of schools approached John Scopes to break the state law so the town could get the publicity that the trial would bring.  And that worked, like a charm.  It was not the product of an outraged preacher riling up his flock, it was a publicity stunt.   For the record, the law should have been tested - especially if they were successful in getting it overturned by the Supreme Court.  As it actually was, they miscalculated and the ACLU's plan probably had a role in setting back the teaching of evolutionary biology in public schools by several decades.  It would have been a lot better if they'd waited for a different court.

William Jennings Bryan was not a right-wing, narrow-minded bigot, while not without his flaws,  he was one of the best of the populist egalitarians.  Clarence Darrow, radical lawyer, was certainly not without his flaws.

Scopes was not jailed after he was indicted.  He traveled to New York to meet with members of the ACLU.   He was never given a prison sentence.  Bryan never argued for a harsh penalty, arguing against even the monetary fine that was imposed.  Bryan offered to pay the fine, himself.

Scopes didn't have rocks thrown at him, he wasn't attacked, he was on friendly terms with people of both sides.  Apparently during the breaks in the trial he often went swimming with young men on the prosecution side, including Bryan's son.

And, sorry, movie-based history buffs, there was no romance between Scopes and the daughter of the local fundamentalist minister, that is sheer Broadway-Hollywood fiction, what my brother and I during a round of wasting hours we now regret with Charlie Chan movies on TV came to call “the Caucasian love-interest” plot cliché.

The book that Scopes taught from, the widely used - in fact state mandated - Civic Biology*, shows just what Bryan's opposition to Darwinian theory was.  It taught scientific racism, inequality, eugenics as science.  When you read Bryan's final speech that Darrow blocked him from giving, he did give some of the contemporary criticism and skepticism about evolution but his strongest attacks were on the anti-democratic nature of it and its advocacy of the salubrious effects of violent struggle that would result in the deaths of people.  I suspect that in association with the trial,  Clarence Darrow wanted to disassociate himself, somewhat, from that central aspect of Darwinism as a legal and political entity.  I don't think the timing of his article, The Eugenics Cult, published a year after the case, was any accident.  Accustomed to reading scientists and academic advocates and critics of eugenics, Darrow's is a pretty weird, opportunistic trial-lawyerly critique meant to sway by derision rather than fact.  Interestingly, nowhere in his article does Darrow mention any of the major figures in the history of the creation of eugenics or even the contemporary scientific establishment that supported it, choosing people whose views were easily characterized for derision.   It reminds me that you can agree with someone on general facts while deploring their lapses in honesty on even important matters.

I do have to wonder if the trial happened in a different state if Bryan might have had more to say about the racial, ethnic, economic and social inequality that were an intrinsic part of Darwinism - natural selection - and the inevitable damage belief in the theory would do to democracy.

After his conviction Scopes was not fired, he was given the opportunity to remain in his teaching job but chose, instead to take advantage of the offer from those defending him to go to grad school at the University of Chicago, where he got a graduate degree in geology, went to work for oil and gas companies and converted to Catholicism when he married.   The Catholic Church was about the strongest opponent of eugenics in the world.

Clarence Darrow was not vilified by local folks who welcomed the publicity.  He was welcomed by a large and cheering crowd when he came into town and given an honorary banquet at the Progressive Club, as Bryan was.   He was not a lone champion of science and reason, he had a large team of legal help to aid him.  He was also disappointed when he tried to get Bryan to expose himself as a Biblical-literalist, fundamentalist.  I think that Bryan's thinking was far more nuanced and sophisticated than a conceited, sophisticated guy like Darrow could have been bothered to understand.  That's still the case, today.

Inherit the Wind is an ideological play which uses the general outlines of a well known story and lies about the inconvenient details of actual history to create propaganda.   I suspect that by that time, even before TV had trained the entire country to mistake fiction for history, the authors of it knew that even allegedly educated folk, certainly lots of them show-folk, wouldn't have read a word of the actual history of the trial and that their fiction was about all they were going to get on the case.  That habit, on full display on blogs from right to left, is one of the most discouraging things I've learned from my time reading blogs.  The simple fact that show-biz ain't real doesn't seem to have taken hold in even those with advanced degrees in the hard sciences.

Inherit The Wind is second-rate theater, full of cliches and stock characters, it insults reality because while the general outlines of the story might fit into their desired narrative, the real people in what really happened were far from the bigots and champions of truth that the very much overrated actor Spencer Tracy and the better actor, Fredric March,  played.  That college allegedly-educated people of any ideology could mistake that as accurate history is, in every way, appalling.

One thing you true-believers can take some comfort in, if this is too disillusioning for you, the figure standing in for H. L. Mencken was probably about as much of a cynical asshole as he was in reality.

One of the most important things for the United States to learn from the elevation of Donald Trump through the lying make-believe of TV and pop culture is that a population fed on a constant diet of "alternative facts" is a danger to equality, democracy and a decent life.  It might teach us that life, itself, depends on the population having a sufficient grasp of reality and the truth to reject what the TV addled American people have gotten.  Theatrical distortion of history and reality isn't without serious, real effects in real life.

*  Apparently the state of Tennessee required the teaching of biology from a book which, teaching evolution, would have guaranteed that you could either break the law or shirk your legal responsibility to use it.  Such is the quality of so much state legislation.

Update:  I have never, not any time I saw one of his movies, ever believed a single second of Spencer Tracy's acting.  He's one of the most over-rated movie actors in the blighted history of bad movie acting.

Update 2:  Someone points out something I'd never read, that John T. Scopes admitted to a reporter that he hadn't, in fact, broken the law because he skipped the lesson in evolution.  Apparently the lawyers wanting a conviction so they could get the law declared unconstitutional on appeal, coached the student-witnesses to lie about that.   I'll look up more on that when I've got the time - a book I don't have is the source - but it wouldn't surprise me if even that part of the story is not what it's supposed to be.

These Guys Couldn't Be Stupider If They Intended To Be - Three Comments

  1. Right on cue, my most persistent troll and persistently willing example of everything wrong with the conventional, pseudo-liberal narrative puts his silly foot right into it, right up to his eyeballs.  And I'll bet he and his fellow, conceited pseudo-liberals won't see any problem with what he said.   
  2. INHERIT THE WIND on now on TCM.

    Amazingly, not a single character mentions how Darwin is going to cause The Holocaust.
  3. Oh dear, what part of MOVIES AREN'T REAL was too complex for you to get?

    If you read the documents from the actual Scopes trial instead of that piece of Broadway -> Hollywood crap you'd see that William Jennings Bryan did, actually, predict that it would lead to results like the Holocaust. Only, in the real trial, not that piece of fiction, Clarence Darrow knew that his statements in the defense of "Babe" Leopold could be used to cut his argument in Scopes to shreds so he maneuvered to prevent Bryan from giving it. Luckily, the text exists and can be read. By such as can read, which doesn't include you or the others that put the "scat" into Eschaton.

    You are so endlessly stupid and clueless and self-contradicting, Simels, I do wonder if you have some occult power, extra-stupory-imperception.
  4. There's this passage from Bryan's speech, for example, that is remarkably prescient of how Germany was going to go.

    Quotes an English Author

    To show that this is a world-wide matter, I now quote from a book issued from the press in 1918, seven years ago. The title of the book is "The Science of Power," and its author, Benjamin Kidd, being an Englishman, could not have any national prejudice against Darwin. On Pages 46 and 47 we find Kidd's interpretation of evolution:

    "Darwin's presentation of the evolution of the world as the product of natural selection in never-ceasing war was a product, that is to say, of a struggle in which the individual efficient in the fight for his own interests was always the winning type - touched the profoundest depths of the psychology of the West. The idea seemed to present the whole order of progress in the world as the result of a purely mechanical and materialistic process resting on force. In so doing it was a conception which reached the springs of that heredity born of the unmeasured ages of conquest out of which the Western mind has come. Within half a century the 'Origin of Species' had become the bible of the doctrine of the omnipotence of force."

    Kidd goes so far as to charge that "Nietzsche's teaching represented the interpretation of the popular Darwinism delivered with the fury and intensity of genius." And Nietzsche, be it remembered, denounced Christianity as the "doctrine of the degenerate," and democracy as "the refuge of weaklings."

    Kidd says that Nietzsche gave Germany the doctrine of Darwin's efficient animal in the voice of his superman, and that Bernhardi and the military textbooks in due time gave Germany the doctrine of the superman translated into the national policy of the superstate aiming at world power. (Page 67.)

    And what else but the spirit of evolution can account for the popularity of the selfish doctrine, "each one for himself, and the devil take the hindmost," that threatens the very existence of the doctrine of brotherhood.

    In 1900 - twenty-five years ago - while an international peace congress was in session in Paris, the following editorial appeared in L' Univers:

    "The spirit of peace has fled the earth because evolution has taken possession of it. The plea for peace in past years has been inspired by faith in the divine nature and the divine origin of man; men were then looked upon as children of apes - what matters it whether they are slaughtered or not?"

    Of course, he was a lawyer and a liberal politician, not a biologist. I'd have been happier if he'd called what he was talking about "natural selection" but he didn't. Not that it would make a difference to you because you don't know enough to know the difference. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Michael Flynn Must Be Fired (And Arrested)

If They Were The Cleveland 10 They'd Never Have Made The Movie

Let me guess, everything you know about that period was what you saw in the movie Trumbo.

Let me break this to you gently,  MOVIES AREN'T REAL!  

And give me a break, if the Hollywood 10 hadn't been scribbling for the movies they'd never have bothered turning them into movie heroes.  Movie people, show people, theatrical and other writers.... they always turn their own into heroes even when they're in no way heroic.

Let me know when they do a big, splashy Hollywood-feel-good-about-itself movie about the 13 who were killed in the Night of the Murdered Poets plus the guy who died in prison.  Let me know when they do the fifth one.   Maybe I'll do a search and compare how much was written in the self-absorbed lefty magazines of America about the 13 who were murdered after they'd been tortured for years as compared to the guys who had the horrible fate of. after getting out of their short sentences in country-club prisons for contempt having to get fronts for their scripts for a few years.   And the irony of it is that those murdered 13 were Communists who had supported the same Stalinism that the rich, First Amendment protected American scribblers never stop romanticizing.  Only they had to stop pointing out that it was Stalin who those guys adored in the 30s - 50s.

I should search to see if any of the Hollywood 10 scribblers ever wrote about the 13 dead writers and what they said about them.   If anyone who so mightily objects to what I said can point me to anything they wrote that condemned the murders of their fellow writers by the same Stalin and his thugs who they, their party and their comrades carried water for,  I'll post it.

Update:  Two Comments



    "Leib Kvitko (1890–1952), Yiddish poet and children's writer"

    Fucking genius, because killed by Stalin.

    "Lester Cole (June 19, 1904 - August 15, 1985) American screenwriter"

    Hack bad writer, because he wrote for the movies and only went to jail for a short time.


    1. Lester Cole was a friggin' hack, he shouldn't have been asked questions about his entirely legal political idiocy by HUAC and shouldn't have been held in contempt for not answering questions about legal activity.

      I have no idea if Leib Kvitko was a genius, but he should not have been arrested for being a Jew because the Soviet dictator got paranoid about Jews with the establishment of Israel, tortured and murdered on the order of Stalin.

      Shorter Simels, Lester Cole being sentenced to a country-club prison for a short term and having to submit his crappy scripts under a fake identity, the greatest injustice of all times, Leib Kvitko, tortured and murdered by one of the most accomplished mass murderer for the crime of being Jewish, "meh"
Update 2:  Look up his career at IMDB,  Lester Cole was a hack writer of b and lower list movies and not a very good one.

It's my experience that, in almost all cases, a first rate movie is about on the same level as a third-rate book but they're a lot more profitable because crap that's easier to consume than a good book will get a bigger audience.  And I doubt anyone expected to get sex for bringing anyone to the books.

Update 3:  Oh, come on, Simps, you use my jokes, passing them off as your own.  I've seen you do it.

"Nobody Takes Marxism Seriously Anymore" - Hate Mail

Oh, really.  Check this out in the current issue of The Nation:

Marx’s Revenge

He may have lived a 19th-century life, but his ideas keep coming back with a vengeance.

For pity sake, don't you guys read? I mean AT ALL?

Update:  I'm way past the point where I want to waste time reading younger Marxists like Kunkel or Richard Seymour - who, like so many of the great Marxist scribblers in the English Speaking and other people never seem to have elected to live under it.   Well, really, it would be hard for them to do so as even the people who run countries under the name "Marxist" pretty much gave up on Marxism and don't elect to live under it, either.  Marxism was given and failed the test of time, the young Marxists of today are bird-brains, posturing romantics for a vicious past that they can't state the truth about.   They have all the credibility of academic Nazis c. 2017.  Once the crap like the cinema glorification of Dalton Trumbo and those jerks is over, they'll have the non-respectability of Nazis, as well.   The sooner the better.

Continued From Yesterday: Another Post For the Post-Literate

Sometimes life is complicated*.

Some reading is hard.

Some things are not simple things.

Some things cannot be put in sentences of ten words or less.

* Com-pli-ca-ted:  Not easy.

The topic was too complicated to fit into one of Duncan's two sentence posts, so his regulars couldn't understand it.

Donald Trump An Atheist President?

"Paris is worth a mass."  Henri IV

After writing his extremely important book,  American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,  one of our greatest reporters, Chris Hedges, had a debate about religion with Sam Harris.  What he learned from his preparation, the debate and further study was that the new atheism that such as Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and others were creating had the potential of being another fascistic danger to egalitarian democracy and, so freedom.  He wrote the book I Don't Believe in Atheists as a study of the fascistic potential of atheism.  I read the book when it first came out and found it to be a good introduction to the topic.  At the time I had a few minor questions about some of his basic assumptions about atheism and why it could turn into a danger to democracy.  In the years after that, as people who have read my blog or looked into its archive know, I've made an intensive study of the literature of atheism, both its philosophical and its less philosophical and more popular forms and I think Hedges greatly underestimated the potential of atheism to destroy democracy.    In its most common form in the English speaking people, atheism is almost always found in association with a crude 18th-19th century style of materialism and, even more so, the crudest and most superstitious form of scientism.  Even some of the most intellectual of atheists, even those in the sciences that should have cured them of those superstitions are fully believing, fully invested in those twin superstitions.   At the very start of his book,  Hedges give a quotation by Ludwig Feuerbach, "What yesterday was still religion, is no longer such today; and what today is atheism, tomorrow will be religion".   And such is atheism in everyone I've ever talked to and in all but the most subtle of atheists I've read.   One of the deepest dangers of atheism as it really exists in the minds of atheists is the denial that what they believe is belief and the arrogant and clueless claim that it is knowledge.  With that comes a really dangerous belief that atheism is some kind of guarantee of protection against what such atheists as Harris and Dawkins and, climbing on the profitable band wagon, Christopher Hitchens claim is guaranteed to come from religion.

Anyway, back to Hedges.  In the book Hedges early says,

We have nothing to fear from those who do or do not believe in God;  we have much to fear from those who do not believe in sin.  The concept of sin is a stark acknowledgement that we can never be omnipotent, that we are bound and limited by human flaws and self-interest.  The concept of sin is a check on the utopian dreams of a perfect world.  It prevents us from believing in our own perfectibility or the illusion that the material advances of science and technology equal an intrinsic moral improvement in our species.  To turn away from God is harmless.  Saints have been trying to do it for centuries.  To turn away from sin is catastrophic.

Only, I don't believe that is supported by the phenomenon of atheism in the world and in literature.  I do believe we have much to fear from those who don't believe in God.  I don't believe that the habits of contentment as found among university based atheists who will scribble mildly on such topics are where the real test of the ultimate consequences of atheism are to be found.  Fifteen years ago, when I took so much of what they said on the faith that they were being honest and sincere without checking their sources or the actual record of atheist governments, I might have let that pass without comment, but I think that statement is quite wrong.  Atheism with political power has a political record and it is uniformly that of a mass-murdering, fascistic nightmare.

It is impermissible under any circumstances for morals to sink as low as communism has done. No one can begin to imagine the tragedy of humanity, of morality, of religion and of freedoms in the land of communism, where man has been debased beyond belief.  André Gide

For the record, I don't count Gide as having had an especially high bar when it comes to morality.   Atheist government couldn't even get over his.

And that is atheism under a far less amoral framing than it has been given.  Marxism aspired to scientifically and logically produce a decent, peaceful life after the program of violent struggle was over.  I think it might have been the most idealistic of the commonly adopted framings of atheism.  One of those popular alternatives was Nietzsche's horrific oppression of people classified as inferior by enslaving Supermen who were not bound by any morality.   I think the record of Marxism with political power shows that the intentions of producing moral governance Marx and Marxists have articulated, the record in actual practice is closer to Nietzsche.   And I, actually, think Nietzsche is only one of those atheist-materialist systems which would produce similar results,  Darwin and even more so, his disciples certainly imagined such a world ruled by an artificial natural selection to replace the theoretical and continual culling by nature.

After years and years of studying atheism, the idealized view in the literature and the actual record, the actual test in reality,  I think that result is virtually inevitable and I think it is an inevitable consequence of materialism and especially any scientism that includes natural selection as a feature of its faith. Though even without natural selection, I don't see anywhere in atheism for a concept of sin to come from other than all too easily violated habit or all too easily overcome social pressure.   Atheists are, certainly, no more reliable in treating other people, animals, the environment well, non-explotatively, kindly,  than Christians.

There is one thing that is a crucial difference between atheism and many forms of religion, in this discussion, Christianity.   Christianity contains the concept of sin, it contains the concept that sins have inevitable and inescapable consequences and it contains the very moral laws that would have to be followed to produce an egalitarian democracy, a decent peaceful and non-murderous life. Foremost among sins, practically its definition in the Hebrew tradition,  is doing to other people what you would not have them do to you is a sin.  Atheism has none of those possible restraints.  In a world in which those who, claiming to be Christians, followers of Jesus but who, none the less, give in to the temptations to violate those, certainly relying on atheists who admit to no such moral absolutes is a far higher risk of that result.

I will say that I think in Donald Trump atheists have gotten their desideratum of an atheist president of the United States.*   As has been pointed out, despite his claims of being a Christian, the entire previous life of Donald Trump up till the time he decided to run for president contained nothing at all that would lead someone to conclude that he believed in God or in the Gospel of Jesus or the Law or the Prophets.  His life and his profession of faith has been that of the crudest and most vulgar of vulgar materialists.   His business practice is a record of piratical theft, strong-man attempts to roll over and destroy people he considered weaker, lying to and robbing the gullible, especially those whose fantasies of being like Donald Trump made them weak.  His legacy as a builder is of golden idols, abstract monuments to himself and his massive and all-consuming ego.  His rapacious use of women is, obviously, one of the things that made him popular with the crudest of men and women brainwashed into being used by men.  His court is full of some of the most degenerate of crooks and thieves there are.  His gospel is a schedule of lies, racism, hatred, bigotry, paranoid violence and the exploitation of women.   In short, in Donald Trump we have come as close to the reality of a Nietzschian  strong man in our history as we yet have - minus the Nietzschian pretenses of philosophical erudition.  One of the consequences of believing in no moral restraint is that there is no reason not to lie, even about such things as religious belief.  An atheist who claims, falsely, for political gain to believe in Christianity is entirely to be expected.  It's merely a matter of an absence of distaste for telling that particular lie.   In a world where there are no values, intellectual values are no less in danger than moral ones.   In the very end, even the most basic of intellectual values is based in an absolute belief in the reality of religious values and minus a God who makes those values real, I have no faith in the ability of human society to sustain the practice of them.   I think every Nietzschian strong man, every atheist despot unrestrained by morality and in a society that has been led to abandon any sense of sin, will have far more in common with the morality of the rape scene in Last Exit to Brooklyn or in other such landmarks of 20th century literature than it will what you'll find in academic atheist fantasy.

I will also say that in Trump's puppet-master, Putin we're seeing post-Marxist atheism, atheism shed of the delicacy of feeling that led to the rejection of religion for a corrupting pretense of religion such as even Stalin used to further his rule when Hitler threatened it.  I don't buy that murderous pirate's embrace of the Patriarch of Moscow and his church building program as an expression of Christianity, it is religion of convenience.   He's guilty of many murders, do you think he'd be too ethical to be insincere?  I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't learned that trick of power consolidation and security from American Republicans.

Given the record of atheists with political power, the Reign of Terror, if you believe what atheists claim the Napoleonic reign of terror (look up his body count), the Marxist regimes and, yes, the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, there is no reason, whatsoever to believe that "We have nothing to fear from those who don't believe in God".  I think there is every reason to believe that materialism, scientism, and atheism will produce horrific results.   I think we're getting those, now.

Note:  I think that with the world as it is, it is way past time for the people who really do believe that what Jesus said was true to call out those who profess that belief but whose every word and deed violates every word Jesus said.   The delicacy of feeling, the desire to not make waves, to be nicely liberalish and tolerant of those whose "christianity" could vote for Trump and his program of total depravity is something that has to be overcome if they really believe what they profess.  Franklin Graham is not a Christian, Jerry Falwell jr. is not a Christian, they are simply working a different angle on the racket that Trump and Putin have been so much more successful in.

* In reading this over, I think Donald Trump has a lot in common with a number of popular atheists of the past, Madalyn Murray O'Hair ruled over her petty little fiefdom in much the same way that Trump is trying to rule us.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Betty Carter - How High The Moon

Betty Carter, voice
Roy Hargrove, trumpet
Hank Jones, piano
Christian McBride, bass
Al Foster, drums

" There is really only one jazz singer, Betty Carter."  Carmen McRae

A Special Post For Duncan's Brain Trusters

These are words.

To know what they say you have to read them.

That might be hard but it is not my fault. 

Update:  No, I didn't think they'd read it, that would be too much like work.  I wrote it for the amusement of my readers who know how to read.

Update 2:   Gee,  most days my blog gets anywhere from between 800 to 1200 readers who, obviously, don't come for the comment thread community or the cat pictures.  You're the only one who complains that they don't understand what I say.  

And even funnier, you haven't ever felt any hesitation to lie about what you claim to not understand over at Duncan's.  And before you bring up his numbers, he doesn't have readers because you've got to write something before you can have readers.   He's obviously given up writing because his community wouldn't read what he used to write.  That would be because he is too cowardly to have any kind of original ideas, too invested in conventional thinking to break out of it and too lazy to make the effort.   But he's not honest enough to keep his blog from hosting a total liar like you.

Especially Stupid Hate Mail

Let me ask you, what part of me saying of HUAC and the FBI: 

- (they were) almost to a person, a total asshole
- The big difference is that HUAC, the FBI and others were assholes who SOMETIMES, quite often abused their power and office and, certainly, the money men were huge assholes, as well. 
- Some like J. Parnell Thomas* compounded their role as a total piece of shit as a member of congress with being a crook
- in far too few cases getting what was coming to them
and finished by saying of them
-  Look on the bright side, they might be in hell.

what part of that translates in idiotese as "supporting the McCarthyites".  

Like I said, after seeing how someone as smart as Kevin Drum said something so seriously stupid based on his reading of Duncan Black, I've got to conclude that paying attention to Eschaton is dangerous to your intelligence.   Thanks for the confirmation. 

*  Let me guess, you have no idea who J. Parnell Thomas was.  Look it up, I'm not spoon feeding conceited idiots, anymore.