Saturday, May 13, 2017

Well, More than A Second Feature - VoiceScapes Audio Theater

If I could get some of the audio plays from this group on a link I'd feature them.  But you might enjoy trying them over the next week.  I haven't listened to all of their posted work yet but I've liked the ones I have heard.  They're always adding more, they say. 

Here's their home page

Found Online - I Think He Originated The Role of The Elitist Slob

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

You don't have to take my word for it. 

Update:  Oh, I just say things to annoy Stevie.   Or to give him attention so he'll go away.  He's a lot like Donald Trump in that way.  A child. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Firesign Theater - Anything You Want To

I thought that because those videos I posted from the National Audio Theater Festival last week talked about Firesign Theater, how they both continued and expanded the content of audio theater,  I'd post this example of their work from the later 1970s.   It's pretty silly and fun but it makes some points and contains some very rare satire.  

For Rosenstein Is An Honorable Man

I had thought I was through writing about Rod Rosenstein until Monday, the deadline for him doing what he is currently being reported as refusing to do, appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the Trump treason and other crimes of other people.  But someone else just talked about what a tower of integrity he is and what a great reputation he has.  If I hear that one more time I'm going to get violent.  Perhaps only against the radio, perhaps more.

With every passing hour, it's obvious that either their definitions of those virtues are dodgy, in themselves, or he successfully sold them on a phony version of himself as a great man.  Let's get this straight, he has already shown he is nothing of the sort.

As Daphna Renan and David Pozen, noted at Lawfare, Rod Rosenstein, according to his own claims in his infamous letter recommending the firing of James Comey, should also be fired.

Comey, according to Rosenstein’s memorandum, “ignored” “longstanding principle[s]” and “well-established process[es]” of the Justice Department. He departed from the Department’s “‘widely-respected, non-partisan traditions,’” and he “laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument.”

The irony is that in leveling such charges in such a document, Rosenstein was performing his own criticisms. He ignored the Inspector General process and the principles of administrative fairness, independence, and truth-seeking it is meant to embody. And in a departure from the Department’s traditions, he laid out his version of the case against Comey for public consumption as if it were a closing argument.

Their colleague at Lawfact, Benjamin Wittes, reveals himself as one of those former fans of Rod Rosenstein of the establishment who have been stunned by his behavior.

When Trump nominated Rosenstein as deputy attorney general, I was delighted. I have known Rosenstein for a long time. I have always thought well of him. I've admired his ability to serve at senior levels in administrations of both parties and impress both sides with apolitical service. I considered it a positive sign that Trump had installed a career professional as deputy attorney general under Jeff Sessions, who is a polarizing figure to many. And I quietly told many people anxious about Sessions that I was not worried that anything too terrible would happen at the department with Rosenstein and Rachel Brand—who has not yet been confirmed as associate attorney general and of whom I think extremely highly—in the deputy's and associate's offices respectively.

I was profoundly wrong about Rosenstein.

Rosenstein's memo in support of Comey’s firing is a shocking document. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. I have tried six ways from Sunday to put an honorable construction on it. But in the end, I just cannot find one. The memo is a press release to justify an unsavory use of presidential power. It is also a profoundly unfair document. And it's gutless too. Because at the end of the day, the memo greases the wheels for Comey's removal without ever explicitly urging it—thus allowing its author to claim that he did something less than recommend the firing, while in fact providing the fig leaf for it.

In other words, Rosenstein’s actual role was even less honorable than the one he reportedly objected to the White House's tagging him with. If the original story that Rosenstein’s recommendation drove the train had been true, after all, that at least would involve his giving his independent judgment. But the truth that Trump told is far worse than the lie Rosenstein insisted the White House correct. Rosenstein was tasked to provide a pretext, and he did just that.

Even more telling about the phenomenon of insider, connected people duped by people like them, going on for decades is contained in this.

Let’s give Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt and assume he believes every word of the memo he wrote—and I do assume as much. A lot of people, including a lot of people with institutionalist Justice Department views, share the belief that Comey screwed up, as the President would say, big league. Even I, who have defended the good faith of Comey’s actions and believe he was in an impossible situation, do not agree with every one of his decisions during the 2016 election period. So I’m perfectly willing to believe that Rosenstein felt able to take on the assignment to write this memo because he, in fact, believes the things he said in it.

Let’s go a step further and assume that everything Rosenstein says in the memo about Comey’s conduct is actually true—in other words, not merely that Rosenstein believes it all, but that he’s right. (This I do not believe, but I don’t want to relitigate the question of Comey’s handling of the Clinton emails matters.)

For that matter, let's set aside the fact that the memo criticizes Comey for actions taken many months ago that the current president never criticized and that the previous administration did not think amounted to a firing offense.

I think what we are seeing is how many of those guys like Rod Rosenstein, taken as towers of integrity and bulwarks of American democracy and the rule of law are one strongman away from becoming an aparatchick in a full blown fascist strongman government.  Rosenstein knows that as long as he plays along with Trump he is in no danger of being fired, investigated, indicted,  convicted and punished for crimes. He knows that as long as The Mitch McConnells and Paul Ryans and Jeff Sessions are running what are supposed to be checks and balances on an unbalanced Republican strongman, he knows one thing above all, which side his bread is buttered on at any given time.

We have to stop this bullshit myth that these people are dependably honorable because our government is not guaranteed to be in the hands of honorable men.   The old-boy, Ivy network plays a part in that, class does, party certainly does, but the 18th century system that depended on that instead of strong, specific laws and means of removing gangsters like Trump, McConnell and Ryan from office AND SENDING THEM TO PRISON doesn't work now and probably won't.   Those kinds of laws, specific and with mandatory minimum sentences (Jeff Sessions is a big fan of them as long as you are poor and preferably not white) are what we need now.

And we need a Constitutional amendment that will remove the power of anyone from pardoning a sitting president for committing high crimes, keeps a president from pardoning anyone in the employ of his administration and which broadens the definition of treason to include what Trump and his crime gang have done.

The Republican Party Is The Party of Crooks And Traitors

The Republican Party is revealed this week as a party full at the top of people who are not patriots but they play one on TV.   Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Chuck Grassley the pseudo-moderate Susan Collins are all covering up and enabling the most extravagant display of arrogant, admitted criminal behavior and treason by Donald Trump, admitted in his own words.  The Republicans who have any shred of a claim to integrity left could probably be counted on one hand and other than Senator Richard Burr, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I'm trying to remember what other names go on that list.  The part-time, for camera patriotism of McCain and Graham is wanting in a big way.

McConnell and Ryan are as guilty of treason and of violations of their oaths of office as Trump is, at this point.  Jeff Sessions is guilty of lying about his recusal from matters surrounding the Russia investigation, Rod Rosenstein - everyone's idea of a Republican of sterling character and boy-scout integrity - is, at the very least, guilty of aiding and abetting the worst of the corruption.

If there is any justice the Republicans will reap the whirlwind they've sown but, unfortunately, we will too.  There is only one country, one world.  Adam Schiff, appearing on Maher's show last night put all of that down to their hopes of plundering the country.

After a week of stunning revelations, the firing of FBI Director James Comey and then the ever-shifting rationale offered by Trump surrogates, which then got bowled over by Trump himself in an interview with Lester Holt, Maher asked Schiff when the GOP is going to start breaking with the president.

After showing a rowdy town hall in which a constituent shouted at a Republican House member to “decide to be an American and not a politician,” Maher asked Schiff, “How can they govern if that’s what’s brewing out in America? What are the Republicans saying to each other behind closed doors? They must be sh*tting their pants.”

Schiff laughed, but then said, “They all want something from this president before the wheels come completely off the wagon. They want their tax cuts, they want their regulatory repeal of all the mining regulations, etc. And then they’ll find their spine.”

I think that's about right,  Paul Ryan wants to steal Social Security, destroy Medicare and Medicaid, destroying the lives of, literally, millions of Americans, driving millions more into destitution and desperation - he is someone out of whom a new stock character of psychopathology must arise, the Ayn Randian sadist presenting their pleasure of causing pain as high principle and being allowed to get away with it by others.   In Paul Ryan I think we have a model of how concentration camp guards could brutalize and murder people before going home to their families at night.  I think his surface normality - such as that is - is a good warning about the deception appearances can be.

Mitch McConnell's is a more old fashioned kind of evil, he's a crook a thug and a racist, we've seen his type in the movies before.  He is a throwback to the kind of corruption that flourished in the gilded age and the antebellum period.   I would say that he is what his state, Kentucky, should be mocked for, they having inflicted such a total piece of slime on us but he's a product of a totally corrupt Republican Party.  One which once had a many but a minority of such crooks when Nixon's criminality was undeniable.  That type now dominate. the very, very few who are showing any kind of honesty or integrity, now.  The run the Republican party as an overtly fascist Donald Trump admits to the very things Nixon was impeached to on national television as if that's how you do business as president of the United States.  And they are letting him get away with it.  Republicans are the major source of corruption in the government of the United States, today.

There is a widely believed myth, a TV induced delusion that certainly must die with this, that what the United States needed was a businessman as president.  It's clear that being a businessman should be considered a disqualification for being president because the laws are so corrupted as to let them get away with things that no one else can.  Donald Trump is just doing business the way he always has and has gotten away with when he should probably have been, first, in the jail house then in the poor house for what he's done.  That comparison I made with Leona Helmsley is apt, they've got a lot in common.  Only she went to jail for what she did - though she died a billionaire.  He'll probably escape having to pay for his far higher crimes altogether because the Republican Party accounts for the strongest reasons our law is corrupt. And, he is a man who isn't called a "bitch" when he acts like Leona Helmsley did.   He's considered "strong".

By the way,  I've got a feeling that Adam Schiff is exactly what Rod Rosenstein is supposed to be but who he is proving he is not, a man of high integrity.  If people were not so addled by TV and appearances he'd be considered presidential material.  I say that even though he's Stanford - Harvard. I'm not blind to the exceptions, few though they seem to be most days.

Friday, May 12, 2017

If Rosenstein Turns Out To Be A Dirt Bag It's Entirely His Own Fault

If Rod Rosenstein has not appointed a credible special prosecutor by Monday we know that he's been pulling the wool over the eyes of lots of people for many years.  I don't care how much the old boys network claims otherwise, no one who is in his position, largely due to his own professional actions, could credibly allow this to go on through the weekend without removing the investigation from the reach of Donald Trump or anyone he will appoint to head the FBI or anyone answerable to the massively corrupt and very possibly criminal Jeff Sessions. 

Whether or not Rosenstein turns out to be a dirt bag is in his own hands now.  I wouldn't be surprised if he takes the easy way out by either resigning without having appointed a prosecutor or if he lets Trump fire him without having done that but that's not going to save his reputation that he sacrificed to serve the worst person to have ever held the American presidency.   

Ustad Asad Ali Khan - Raga Bhimpalasi - Rudra Veena - Rudra Vina - Dhrupad, Bautzen

Well, not even Simp's approval will make me change my mind about Jay Semko's music.  I still like it and think Mouse in a Hole is a masterpiece.   I knew who Jay Semko was before Simps did.

This is what I've been listening to this week, Ustad Asad Ali Khan playing rudra veena.

Ustad Asad Ali Khan, rudra veena
Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma, pakhawaj

Makes me wish I had sixty years to learn something about it.  I love listening to music I've never heard before.

Update:  Simps, I've told you dozens of times I will not date you.  Well, in the sense of noting that you're a geezer but I'm not going out with you.
Trump is tweeting this morning, suggesting that there is a recording of the dinner with James Comey.  I hope there is and that it is made public.  

If there is and Trump said what he claims to have said, he may have dug his own grave with his mouth.  And I don't mean by stuffing his pie hole with that gross chocolate cake with the little "Trump" flag in white chocolate. 

I've got to put in some eye drops.  Been reading myself into blindness. 

Rosenstein Has One Chance And Little Time To Disprove Those Who Believe He Is Corrupt

It is possible that the man who set his reputation on fire to serve Donald Trump, perhaps using his position as Deputy Attorney General to assist in Trump's obstruction of justice, Rod Rosenstein, has exactly one chance to salvage his reputation and place in history, if he appoints a Leon Jaworski who, then, goes on to do a full and credible job of investigating, bringing indictments and obtaining convictions of the guilty in the Trump regime collusion and treason with the Putin crime family.

It's possible but it's not a sure thing, for one thing, I doubt he'll do it.  If he does, it's more than likely that Trump will fire him, he's that stupid and conceited, after yesterday's interview it's clear he will continue to figure he's entitled to do in the presidency what he did on his phony reality show, The Apprentice.

So, I doubt Rosenstein will do it unless he is convinced that the attempt of the Ivy League, old boy and girl network will not be able to pull his fat out of the fire that he willingly stepped into.

So, back to yesterday's topic and a new article trying to do that by Slate's Leon Neyfakh (Harvard).

Rod Rosenstein could be making more than $1 million a year right now working at the law firm of his choice. So why is this impeccably pedigreed, widely admired former prosecutor letting himself be humiliated, used, and discredited by Donald Trump?

The answer could be naked ambition: For all the cautious optimism that Rosenstein’s nomination as deputy attorney general inspired in Trump critics, it’s possible the boy scout from Maryland never intended to bring his famous sense of integrity and professionalism to his influential new job at the Justice Department. Maybe he sold himself on the idea that he’d be serving “at the pleasure of the president” and decided he’d do whatever he had to do to keep his boss happy.

That’s one explanation for why Mr. Conscientious wrote that strange memo about James Comey. He knew full well that his sober, serious-minded complaints about the FBI director’s handling of the Clinton email investigation would be used as cover for making a fundamentally corrupt personnel decision, and he decided to lend the president his hard-won credibility the way a guy with a clean record might help a buddy with a checkered past hide a murder weapon.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I have a hard time believing that version of the story. Rosenstein has worked in the Justice Department for too long—27 years—and his reputation in the legal world is too solid for him to be a craven and amoral functionary. It’s more likely, in my view, that Rosenstein went into this job sincerely thinking, or at least hoping, that he could do some good in the Trump administration. Just like all the people who told me they were happy there would be an adult running the Justice Department’s day-to-day operations, Rosenstein probably believed he could be a steadying force at a time when the federal government—and the DOJ in particular—badly needs one.

I don't know why Rod Rosenstein did what he did, what he so obviously and knowingly did, writing up an excuse for Trump to fire Comey as Comey was leading an investigation into wrongdoing and possible criminality by Trump and his lackeys.  BUT THE OVERWHELMING FACT IS THAT HE DID IT.   It is more credible that he did it with the intention of hampering the investigation - the most obvious real effect of the firing - for whatever reason, than it is that he was a babe in arms as he was doing it.  You don't get to claim he was the essential man, the grown-up, the adult and then let him off because he's supposed to be a friggin' boy scout.

As I said, he's got one chance to disprove the belief that he's acted as part of a cover up and that is to appoint a credible, vigorous and disinterested special prosecutor to do the investigation that his actions have impeded.

I will state that I'm no fan of James Comey who I think showed obvious partisan, Republican bias in relation to the phony scandal trumped up around Hillary Clinton's e-mail.  I agree with her that Comey probably got Trump elected through his October surmise.  I think Barack Obama showed weakness and bad judgement in appointing Comey as head of the FBI.  Obama should have fired him, he should never have gone along with the DC Village idiots who pushed him - the same idiots who pushed Rosenstein as a boy scout.  But, like it or not, he was overseeing one of the most important investigations into crime and treason against democracy, against the United States and with Trump's interview declarations, it is clear that his firing was part of an attempt to scuttle a criminal investigation into about the most serious of crimes - short of war crimes - that any American president has ever credibly been held to have committed.

What Comey did in nudging the election to Trump was really bad, what Rod Rosenstein did is worse because in the hundred plus days of the Trump regime, there can be no doubts, no granting of any benefit of the doubts about how dangerous he and his entire crew are to American democracy and the world. 


Apropos of yesterday's posts, in making his argument, Neyfakh cites various people, Oona Hathaway (Harvard - Yale Law), Ross Douthat (Harvard) and David Luban (Yale).   Given that both Trump and Rod Rosenstein graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Rosenstein is a product of Harvard Law, as far as I can tell, the only person cited in the Slate Article who isn't an Ivy League product is James Comey and he went to the might-as-well be Ivy University of Chicago for his law degree.  He is a bit of an outlier in that he also went to a public university as an undergrad, William and Mary.  Maybe that's got something to do with why the Ivy doesn't have his back.

Shorter Donald Trump, "Obeying The Law Is For Little People"

It is certain, now, that whatever else happened Donald Trump was guilty of attempted obstruction of justice.  He said so it on national TV during his interview with Lester Holt which broadcast yesterday.   I say "he said so" because it wasn't a confession, he doesn't see it as wrong because it is he, Donald Trump, who did it.  Yesterday's declaration that he had asked James Comey,

“I actually asked him, yes. I said, ‘If it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said: ‘You are not under investigation.’” 

he claimed that exchange happened as a part of what he said was a dinner meeting to see if Comey would retain his job at the FBI, where he was overseeing an investigation of Trump's campaign, transition and regime over possible collusion and corruption with the Putin government.  That is not an admission of guilt, it is a declaration that he did it and that there isn't anything wrong with HIM, DONALD TRUMP, obstructing justice.  

This was his Leona Helmsley moment, as far as Donald Trump is concerned obeying the law is for little people. 

With this declaration if Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and other Republicans in congress don't institute and entirely support a full criminal investigation of Donald Trump, Mike Pence and anyone else in the Trump regime into collusion with the Putin regime during the election and with possible continued corruption with them and others during the one hundred-thirteen days since Trump took office, they have violated their oaths of office and, if there were any real justice in our law, the law.  

The entire Republican Party is either going to fully support a full criminal probe, the full prosecution of those who are indictable and the full and thorough cleansing of our government or they are revealing themselves as the party of treason, of not opposing but working with enemies of the United States foreign and domestic.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

If They Ever Make A Movie Of The Trump Russia Scandal Colm Feore Is A Natural For Carter Page

 Colm Feore Is A Natural For The Role Of Carter Page

We Need the Help of Intel Agencies Around the World

Holy Cow - The Lester Holt Interview

I just listened to excerpts from Lester Holt's interview of Donald Trump.  I can't believe how amazingly stupid Trump is to have admitted to having called the FBI director to ask for an update on the investigation into his campaign and administration.

This can't be allowed to happen or there is nothing left to American democracy,  the Republicans will have installed strong-man criminal government.  

I'm not surprised he did it, I'm shocked that he'd be so stupid as to admit it in public, on national TV.  And, if I'm not mistaken, he may have accused Comey of committing either an act of monumental impropriety or perhaps a felony.   Not to mention the other people in his regime whose recent and past statements and actions he has fingered as either lying, malfeasance or, maybe crimes, as well.  

Update:  I really can't stand listening to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, she lies without any shame, without any act of conscience entering into it. And she graduated from, Ouachita Baptist University, allegedly a religious institution.  Apparently, like her father, Rev. Mike Huckabee, they never taught her it was a sin to tell a lie, either. 

Ladies Who Book

I swear I didn't see this until just now.  It's about Ivanka Trump (Chapin School - Choate - Wharton School - no doubt under that longest and most effective form of affirmative action, legacy admission) and is horrifyingly funny. 



I believe that should translate to be something about the feeling of nausea you get from listening to the sugar-coated bullshit that a mafia-daughter from an ex-democracy is spouting.  I'm not really fluent in German but my hat's off to whoever came up with it.  

Update 2:  Just noticed, throw the idea of evil in there, somewhere too. 

Jeesh! Get Over The Preppies And The Ivys, They're Our Indigenous Criminal Class - Hate Mail

It is a widespread phenomenon that is a common enough delusion that it should have a name, that people who aren't of the prep-school to Ivy League class get nervous and upset when one of us, we, the large majority of humanity who went to public schools and universities point out how many criminals and thugs and pirates and gangsters are prep-Ivy.  As I recall it was just my doing that at the beginning of the Obama administration that was the occasion of my first fight with the man who has been obsessed with attacking me ever since.  And the schmuck isn't even one of them being the product of a far from Ivy private college.

Just what is it about that prep-Ivy cult that so enthralls people who aren't part of it?  Envy?  Perhaps I'm especially impious about it because I'm from a part of New England and from a class which has largely felt the jack boot of the Harvard product and a state whose native population was held up to ridicule and condescension by a scribbler produced at Cornell. Or maybe I'm just ornery enough to reject their conceit.

I will give you an example of the prep-Ivy BS.  That now infamous New York Times op-ed that advocated saying nice things about Donald Trump was by the long time media twit, Michael Kinsley - Cranbrook Prep, Harvard, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, don'cha know) and with that what comes out at the end is Michael Kinsley telling us that Trump is Fascist - yes, he is and, despite what Kinsley says, a very dangerous one - but that we should take some time out of our week to say something nice about him.   What a putz!  And he's only one of a myriad of such prep-Ivy that inhabits the media, the legal profession, politics, and, certainly, big business and the corporate fascist oligarchy.   And, lest it be forgotten, Donald Trump is a prep-Ivy Kew-Forest-New York Military Academy - Wharton School*, U of Pennsylvania (it's an Ivy, NOT a public university, in case the name confuses you, as it does others).   Sorry for that last parenthetical statement, I know Simps is reading this looking for something to cherry pick and distort.  He's been doing that ever since we had that spat about the Ivy League criminal class.

*  As I mentioned, yesterday, in the post that set off the Ivy-soxer,  the Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is a Wharton grad, as well.  I'm sure that helped him with Trump.  I wouldn't be shocked if it had something to do with what Rosenstein did for a fellow old-boy the other day.

Update:  Uh, listen kid, I've seen more Harvard grad than many and most of them weren't liberals and those who might have been in their college days have a strong tendency to either turn conservative as soon as they're earning or trying to land their first job with six figures give that up as childhood folly or to, as in the example above, go soft on rich criminals.  A Harvard Liberal who was a real liberal might stay one but most of them are just libertarians playing at it.  The rare one who breaks that pattern is rare for a reason.

Update 2:  I'm given the example of that Yalie, Lewis Black.  A. let me know when Lewis Black goes into something other than entertainment so we can see if he retains his purity, B. Let me know when he goes into government service.  Maybe he could send in his name to head the FBI.  It might be good for a laugh.  C. That's the best you can come up with?  And here I thought you were an Ivy groupie.

If you can't get a date get a Yalie.

Update 3:  It's so tempting to post the comments from the Sweet Tart of Ivy Guys.  Steve, I'm doing you a favor,  you look cheap and ridiculous.  I mean, more so than usual.

Update 4:  I'm told he's totally out of control over this post over at Duncan's (PhD econ from the second least of those "lesser Ivies" whose grad Ted Cruz thought were too icky for his Harvard Law study group, Brown) blog.  I'd go look but why do that when I can watch Rod Rosenstein scrape what's left of his reputation from the sidewalk?

Update 5:  "It's a long story....." and as it's Steve Simels' version of it you're reading, it's a sure thing that it's about as true as the Comey firing cover story.  

I told you guys, I'm busy watching Simp's pin-up Ivy guy trying to spoon up his dignity from where it was pushed off the cliff and putting it into a tin cup.

The American Government Like The Russian One Is In The Control of Criminals

It is clear that the pose that Jeff Sessions went through in recusing himself as Attorney General in all matters of the investigation of Trump regime collusion with the Putin crime family was about as truthful as his perjured testimony in the sham of a confirmation hearing.  The reason he had to recuse himself was his lie, under oath, to a question by Senator Al Frankin in which he lied about meeting with Russian officials as he participated in the Trump Campaign.   With his part in firing James Comey and the news that he has been interviewing possible replacements for the person who will lead that investigation, he is trying to be the man who chooses the man who will investigate him.

The Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions is being shaped to let those who broke the law, committed treason against democracy and the American People will be allowed to walk and get off and continue their criminality and treason.  If the House and Senate were not in Republican control, this would never have happened.   That was the one thing that saved the United States during the Nixon crime spree, Democrats held both houses of Congress - under the partisan fascism of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell there is no check on the unprecidented power grab by the Trump regime, they and their Republican colleagues are almost entirely in favor of it.

This is the biggest civic catastrophe to hit the United States, perhaps in its history, in which we see what happens when the government is in the hands of crooks and people with no sense of shame and so no sense of honor.  The extent to which honor was depended on by those 18th century amateurs who set up our system of government and the extent to which that dependency was mistaken becomes ever clearer with every passing day, some days with every passing hour.

It is not shocking that the regime in Moscow would want a Donald Trump in control of the United States, a Donald Trump and his crime associates who now run the Republican Party.   Gangsters like Putin and his ilk would rather deal with their fellow gangsters instead of democrats who believe in the common good and the rule of law.   It isn't shocking that our domestic gangsters, the billionaire and millionaire criminal class, here, want the same thing.  And it has gradually become unsurprising that the American media - functioning largely as the PR wing of the oligarchs - is anything from inadequate to prevent or fight against this when it isn't a willing participant in setting it up.   The American People, if they are to have democratic government have got to understand that the honors system the aristocratic founders set up, including the vague, nonspecific parts of the Bill of Rights doesn't work in our present environment.   They will have to risk replacing an honors system with a system of laws to prevent foreign gangsters and our own domestic ones from doing what they've done over the past half century of ever worsening attacks on democracy and the common good.

NPR asks Will Foreign Mischief In U.S. Elections Become 'The New Normal'?  even as they and the upper levels of American media normalize the Trump regime.  The New York Times is doing the same.   Clearly the freest press in our history has sold us out.  The NPR story says that during the Senate committe hearing that seems like it happened moths ago:

Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates also told senators they thought the U.S. must "harden" its election systems to safeguard vote-counting and registration systems. The government could declare such networks "critical infrastructure," like the electric grid, Clapper said, and offer them the same kind of cyber-protections.

They follow that with the claim by James Comey:

Then-FBI Director James Comey told a Senate panel before his surprise dismissal on Tuesday that there was no evidence that Russia's 2016 election-meddling affected any votes or electoral outcomes in the United States, but that Russians have attempted to do just that elsewhere outside the United States.

But that's only in the votes cast, it doesn't get to the most effective part of the Putin regime attack on democracy here and elsewhere, by spreading false and damaging information about candidates not in their pockets.   There isn't any way an FBI investigation could measure the votes swayed by the non-stop propaganda that NPR and virtually every other organ of the American media carried on Putin's behalf, if anything the lefty media carried as much of that as FOX.   Some of them still are.

Nothing that doesn't include making it actionable to lie about liberal politicians in the media is going to be more than a pose and a band-aid against a full out attack on our democracy.   Our system narrowly rejected the psychotic criminal, Richard Nixon in 1960.  After the Sullivan decision, it not only elected him in 1968, it reelected him against one of the most decent men to have ever gotten the Democratic nomination in 1972, even as his criminality was obvious.   The Congress, though, forced his resignation, that congress is in full control of the Nixon style Republican Party now, it was the corporate media and their owners who lied the American People into voting for the Republicans who are in control now.  They made Trump, through both their entertainment and alleged news operations. They largely sustain him now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

You Can’t Fire the Person Investigating You

On Hearing Sarah Huckabee Sanders Filling In For Sean Spicer

I demand that we be allowed to use the essential word "skank" again because there is no better word for the press and PR wing of the Trump regime.  Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, etc. ... the Trump regime has more sleazy, lying, dirtbag skanks in it than John Waters' entire filmography.  

Update:  You can add Jason Miller to that list of skanks. 

Cut Down The Ivy That Hides Criminals

I don't think I ever read anything about Rod Rosenstein before he was nominated to be the Deputy Attorney General a few weeks back, looking at his background, I'm not surprised to find that he is an Ivy product, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law.  Pretty much everyone who you can name in such a position is going to be trailing ivy behind him, I am never surprised to find someone who does something sleazy like firing the head of an investigation into a sleazy president right after he asked for more resources because investigating possible crimes and even treason needs more resources.   I have a feeling that if every person who did something that is illegal or should be illegal in an honest country were prosecuted and convicted for it, the Ivy League universities would have a higher percentage of criminals than the most deprived and benighted inner-city high school.

I believe it was Senator Mark Warner who last night or this morning said he wished he could take back his vote to confirm Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General.   At the very least he has to be brought before someone who can get him under oath to answer questions about what he did and what role Jeff Sessions played in it, what role Donald Trump played in it.  I don't have any confidence that Rod Rosenstein will appoint someone to be a special prosecutor and anyone he might appoint will start out under a cloud.  The sleaze in the Sessions Justice Department and its parent Trump regime makes everything that comes from it suspect.  

As always happens with anything that happens in official Washington, you can find lots of good old boys in the Ivy League network to say nice things about anyone from one of their schools - rather hilariously, one of the experts so testifying is the ultra-sleazy Michael Mukasey (Columbia-Yale)who, along with his step-son, are up to their eyes in Republican sleaze in and around Rudy Giuliani.

If I were in the Senate, I think I'd have a blanket policy against voting for the product of the prep-school-Ivy League system, they've produced too much sleaze.

Update:  In case you wonder who the prescient six Senators who voted against Rosenstein's confirmation as Deputy Attorney General they were,  Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.).   Who were right.

Update 2:  Gee, I didn't go looking for a prime example of Ivy propping up Ivy but I found that Leon Neyfakh published  an article in Slate about how poor, good Rod Rosenstein was used by Trump and Jeff Sessions, taking advantage of his goodness and uprightness and integrity, to dupe him into writing a report coming up with a non-Russia espionage with possible Trump collusion reason to can him, right after he asked Rosenstein for more resources with which to do a more thorough investigation.

In a piece last week, I asked whether the sober-minded Rosenstein could be a check on the politicization of the DOJ under Sessions, or whether his judiciousness would be squelched. The role the deputy attorney general played in Comey’s firing suggests a third way: Trump and Sessions will let the DOJ’s No. 2 man think he's acting on his principles but deploy him in such a way that those principles help them accomplish what they want to accomplish.

Geesh, I'm not a graduate of, not one but two Ivy League universities, in Rosenstein's case the U. of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (he was Sum Cum) and Harvard Law (Editor of the Law Review) a clerk for one of the most connected and influential judges in the Country, a member of the DC Circuit, Douglas Ginsburg (almost become a Supreme but it was back in the days Nina Totenberg still did reporting and found out he'd been a pot-head back when that mattered) a 27 year employee of the DoJ, with more experience and honors and praise than I'm intrested in going through..... and this is the guy we are supposed to believe was punked by Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump!  Punked because his sense of rectitude blinded him to the inevitable firestorm of scandal it was no doubt bound to bring?  I mean, the guy has worked in the Department of Justice for the past 27 years, lots of that time in friggin' Washington DC and he was too innocent and naive to understand what he was doing AND THAT HE WAS BEING PLAYED?   He didn't understand the possible motives of both Trump and Sessions - who, lest it be forgotten, during the Trump campaign met at least twice with Russian officials and who lied about it, under oath, during his confirmation hearings -  Maybe Rod Rosenstein was too busy polishing his halo when that was in the news.  

Um, hum.  I see.

In case you wanted to understand my point, the guy who wrote that is a Harvard product, he wrote for the Crimson.   They are always looking for another fellow's back to get.

If Rosenstein is that naive he should resign immediately.

Susan Collins Is Going To Be Part Of The Cover Up

Susan Collins, one of the Shames of Maine went out of her way to endorse the disgraceful Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, still supporting him even as it became obvious that he lied during his confirmation hearing, under oath, even as Senator Franken exposed that lie.  She joined the rest of her Republican party in putting party over the country and over law to install one of the most unsuitable Attorneys General in recent history.  Now that he has obviously violated the requirements of his recusal from the investigation into Russian interference with the election to install Donald Trump as a very likely Putin asset into the White House, Susan Collins is obviously working to give him cover by playing that she believes the transparent sham that the reason James Comey was fired was because of his wrongs in regard to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails, something which not only Trump but also Sessions had no problem with as he was doing it.

Susan Collins has always been the beneficiary of a Republican-owned Maine media and its practice of treating her like a queen, a figure above criticism.  Well, she isn't, she's a politician and she's a politician who, as one person put it, you can always count on showing independence from her Republican Party when it doesn't matter.  Well, this matters, it is nothing less than treason and having a sitting president who has very likely colluded with a foreign dictator who very likely can blackmail him and whose associates have definitely got him in their debt.  

Susan Collins' statement on the Comey firing is shameful and she deserves to be held accountable by the voters of my state, Maine.  She has exposed herself for what she is, a partisan for whom party is more important than the Country or even the principles of democracy.  With this statement, she becomes a fully invested part of the Trump cover-up of his criminal activity, that of his associates and very likely that of his family who he has given unprecidented power.   This isn't merely a constitutional crisis, this is a crisis for democracy, one which democracy has every possibility of losing.  This marks the character of everyone involved in it, including Susan Collins and she has shown just what hers is.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"This is a very, very dark development."- Josh Marshall on Comey Firing

I can only remember a few times in twenty years in this business that I heard genuinely stunning news. Obviously 9/11 was stunning; natural disasters are stunning. But I mean political developments which are totally unexpected and substantially shocking. This is shocking. 

I want to give some basic background. Let me discuss the letters released by the White House, which explain the reasoning of the Attorney General who made the recommendation. We are only just reviewing the letters. But they appear to hang Comey’s firing on his treatment of the Clinton probe, arguing that his July press conference was inappropriate, violated DOJ guidelines, etc. They also reference his October 28th email. In other words, they are saying that they are firing Comey, in essence, for unfairness to Hillary Clinton.

To be fair, on the surface that are not talking about fairness but Comey’s violations of precedent and guidelines in choosing to speak out about Clinton. I believe this is true. Comey’s actions in both instances were entirely inappropriate and wrong. But, in context, this is highly disturbing since this is clearly not the reason why Comey was fired.

Notably in Trump’s letter to Comey he “thanks” Comey for purportedly three times telling Trump that he was not personally under investigation in the Trump/Russia probe.

This is a very, very dark development.

That Jeff Sessions and his deputy were in on this as Jeff Sessions is certainly under investigation as part of the Russian ratfucking of our elections makes this exactly on the same level as anything Nixon did as he was leading up to impeachment.  That's me but I'm sure it's being said by other people.

On Russia, Let’s Follow the Money

Hate Mail - The "More Speech" Dodge Is An Obvious Failure

I wish I knew the etymology, as it were, of that use of the phrase "more speech" as the answer to hate speech.   I seem to recall first reading it way back when I could still stomach having a subscription to The Progressive, where that biggest windbag of that sort, Nat Hentoff, would say that as if it were an adequate answer to those who really had something to fear from hate speech.   I know it's been at least thirty five or so years that I've read it, and for that entire time hate-talk radio, cabloid-hate talk, hate talkers in roman collars who bought time and worse have been successfully destroying the past and far from total progress that was bought with blood and souls to achieve.  Generally those I've read it from were far from in danger, far from poor, far from being silenced as most of them had newspaper and magazine columns and were regularly heard on the very TV and radio stations that black balled anyone who would be saying what that "more speech" would be saying.  And if they were on, they were on with roughly two of the hate talkers and their supporters to every one who talked that "more speech" very occasionally.

If "more speech" were the answer, Republicans would never have had control of the congress, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Trump would not be presidents and so-called presidents, I'm not even sure that Bill Clinton or Barack Obama would have been president and we would not be witnessing the destruction of the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid.

More Speech  is one of the most cynical slogans that came from and flows from the corporate media and the lawyers and law firms they hire to further thier interests and profits.  If it worked, we wouldn't have gone steadily to hell for the whole time it has been said to silence those who never will be allowed "more speech" as they are silenced by the real and truly effective "more speech" that was created when the Supreme Court, including such liberal icons as Thurgood Marshall issued the Buckley v Valeo decision and all of those others I mentioned this morning.

For more, see my early piece, back when I went by the pseudonym "olvlzl" on Process Liberals.  Liberalism is all about the non-negotiable ends of equality - including economic equality - and the moral obligation to respect rights or it is a fraud.  The liberalism of the likes of Nat Hentoff and Fred Wertheimer is a fraud because it really doesn't care about that, it is a media industry fraud.

Speaking About The Unspeakable Saying The Unsayable

In the aftermath of the successful ratfucking of the American election by the Putin family of crime organizations, here and abroad, the future of democracy here depends on looking hard at what they used, how they used it and how we can protect our democracy and ourselves against those.  Only a total idiot would refuse to look at how such an attack was done and, unfortunately, our media, our government, our courts are staffed by such idiots, such idiots are the major force which makes it almost certain that that won't be done because the truth of how it happened shatters a lot of our most basic and deeply rooted assumptions and beliefs.

OURSELVES.  Since the successful espionage against the United States was done through swaying our election, the basic unit of that corruption was the corruption of individual voters who were sold a line of lies which cause them to vote for Putin's asset, Donald Trump.  The means he did that was by introducing lies into peoples e-mails, into American media (more about which in a minute), successfully duping people into believing those lies, lies obviously constructed in a successful manner to sell, in the way of American advertising propaganda.   I don't have the least doubt that Putin and the successor of the KGB have some pretty impressively smart people studying the United States and other Western countries to try to figure out how to sell the lies they choose to.  We know for a fact that that is done, it's done here millions of times every hour through the American advertising industry which practically invented the most modern forms of selling through deception and lies and preying on our strongest weaknesses.  And in the United States, that's called "doing business" "free enterprise" and a number of other pseudo-sanctimonious bromides of canned civic virtue.  Those were sold to the American People by those very same methods.

It isn't as if how Americans sell Americans on lies is a carefully guarded trade secret, it's taught in universities and books about how to do it are published and sold.  For the illiterate, there are video courses with exactly that kind of come on.   TRUMP UNIVERSITY?  You might have heard of that? I will remind you that an educated Russian is far more likely to have read American literature than your average American college graduate.   Stupid is one thing the Russian intelligentsia is not.

And that comes to the part that our free press played in the Putin ratfucking of our election, virtually every part of the American media has played its part in both producing the anti-Democratic, anti-Hillary Clinton atmosphere, a campaign that has lasted over a quarter of a century and which continues, right now.  Freed of ever having to worry about being sued by public figures, the media from the gutter scrapings of FOX and the Murdoch empire, the supermarket tabloids, up through the other cabloids and up to the highest parts of the print on paper media, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the LA Times and, yes, that lefty media I am so critical of.  All of them prepared the seed bed that Putin planted his lies in, the ones which have flowered into a field of noxious, invasives

That freest of all free presses in our history, that freest of free cabloid and broadcast media also pushed the lies and propaganda that Putin used to put Donald Trump into office.  They gave Donald Trump, literally, billions of dollars worth of free air time, they reported every outrageous lie he told, they had on and still have on his people to tell those and more lies.  They touted every dump of stolen communications mixed with lies without any regard for whether or not they were true.  They helped in every way, even as they may have bleated their phony concerns and fears like Willie Wonka as played by the late great Gene Wilder.  They are still doing it.

As an aside, one of the more bizarre things the media has done is having on, generally figures of the alleged left, to complain that the criticism of what Putin was doing -even as he was exposed as ratfucking our election on behalf of a fascist, trying to destroy American democracy - that criticizing Putin and calling for protection of our democracy was unfair and was the fault of a bunch of "new cold warriors".   I will confess that when I read and hear that the first thing I wonder is if said scholar or journalist might not be getting money from Putin and his associated crime families as the head of the Communist Party, Gus Hall, was from the former Soviet regime, even as they claimed not to be.  I don't think I will ever read the likes of Stephen F. Cohen in The Nation (his wife's magazine) or elsewhere without wondering that, from now on.

And this gets me back to the thing which was most helpful in that,  the court rulings which freed the media to tell those lies, the Supreme Court rulings that I've criticized here dozens of times,  The Sullivan decision freeing media to lie with impunity, something they began using immediately in that war against progress I wrote about yesterday.  That decision came the year before liberal achievement reached its apex, only to be attacked under the post-Sullivan media rules by a media which installed Richard Nixon in the way it couldn't four years before that decision.  After that there came other rulings, Buckley v. Valeo which made money into speech so as to be as free as the Warren Court had made speech, which helped install Reagan who pretty much got rid of all media requirements of honesty and public service and who, lest it be forgotten, allowed the Aussie smut peddler, Rupert Murdoch into the country so he could buy American media, make FOX what it has become, driving the American mind and our politics into the wreck it became.  Under such a regime of such freedom, the American democracy became a rotten door that Putin hardly had to kick hard to knock down.

The American left, as it became ever more a pose of 18th century "enlightenment" libertarianism played a huge part in that, largely lawyers and writers working in the pay of the media and the more affluent, often college based white liberals who valued that more than traditional American liberalism of equality and moral responsibility.   That traditional liberal force, largely religious, which passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and those other Johnson administration laws was superseded as activism passed to the mostly white, more affluent college-based, activism which has driven American liberalism into utter disaster.

The restoration of American democracy will depend on huge changes to protect our democracy in a world which will be forever changed by modern media, modern communication.   The safety of what "free speech" and "free press" meant in an age of unamplified, direct, vocal communication and ink on paper can't be depended on anymore.  If democracy is to either be restored or preserved, just waving the First Amendment around is hardly adequate to protect it from a regime of lies sold by the corporate media and a resultant land of the lied-to that a Putin can exploit using the same permissions the media created his opportunity with.

Waving the First Amendment is how the ACLU, the court majorities in the Sullivan decision, Buckley V. Valeo, Citizens United, a myriad of other, minor court decisions, executive actions, etc. produced the conditions that Putin exploited.

If waving the First Amendment were enough, we would not have had such horrible presidents and congresses under that First Amendment absolutist regime.   It has made us vulnerable to a foreign despot installing his puppet in the White House, a man who we now know, after being warned by the sitting president and others, knowingly appointed a Putin assert as National Security Adviser, making it a position from which to destroy our national security, another as Secretary of State and, as Keith Olbermann pointed out, many other known Putin assets into other key government positions.

The courts are staffed by people who were trained to not think about things like the preservation of democracy, but to pretend the 18th century Constitution is a guaranty of freedom and democracy. The rare times that even Supreme Court members hint of being realistic about that, their training and professional ideology kicks in or kicks back.

I think that we are seeing the prophecy in the Gospels proved by its opposite, the truth will make you free, the lie will enslave you.   And lies sold through the exploitation of ignorance and weakness and misplaced piety are what got us here, today.

I am not optimistic that freedom, equality, a decent life will be restored during my lifetime.  The lies are too thickly planted, too well fed, too much in the interest of too many billionaires and millionaires, too easily believed because they are so well made to seduce us.   I don't have high hopes in some kind of economic disaster or violent catastrophe to restore that.  Those have a proven track record of only making it worse.  The only thing that I can see that will restore it is what produced it in the beginning, a belief that you were to do to others what you would have them do to you, to do to the least among you what you would do to God, and all of those other unstylish virtues contained in religion and nowhere else.

Making lies told about liberal public figures, such as Hillary Clinton actionable in a civil court would be a good first step.  If someone could be sued for such lying, Trump would have had to go on welfare.   He might threaten the media with such lawsuits but if they were fact checking, they would be safe from such threats.  Why they figured it wasn't their job to make sure what they were publishing was true is an interesting thing to consider and a direct result of their prized permission to lie.  Of course, it would be necessary to make those who brought frivolous charges pay the costs of those they sue frivolously.  That could be done.

Hate Mail - "You Hate Science"

That's a paraphrase of a number of hate messages.  You know what's really funny, I'll bet none of you guys have ever, in the history of your blogs, or comments, ever published a link or even a passage from an actual, peer-reviewed science paper or a classic of science.   

Through RMJ's, I f**king hate science.   I don't actually hate science but I really can say I pretty much hate commercial sci-guys and their millions of sci-ranger groupies.  Most of whom couldn't plug numbers into the quadratic formula and solve it.   I wouldn't be surprised if a distressingly large number of them couldn't navigate solving the area of a circle or even a rectangle.

I do hate scientism, one of the most widespread superstitions among the allegedly educated in the Western World.   And I hate the artificial, fragrance #x aroma of sanctity given to a range of purposely amoral professions, many of which are actively engaged in producing weapons, mechanisms and industrial products of mass death. And that doesn't get to the scientists such as Steve Weinberg and others who are such hypocrites about it, often on the basis of lying about history. 

I can say I liked The Kids In The Hall.   Bill Nye?  I thought Pee Wee Herman was more interesting. You do know Bill Nye is a kiddie show host, don't you?  Or is what he says new to you, too?   I think the author of that controversial Salon article got it right, he's a mascot, a team mascot.  I think most of the sci-ranger-sci-guy stuff is about as deep and significant as sports fandom only about something that is important. 

Update:  You want to know why Kids In The Hall is relevant, read the article linked to and who wrote it and what he's known for.  I'm not in the business of spoon feeding lazy trolls. 

Update 2:  I doubt Stupy can tell you what 7x6 is without a calculator. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sally Yates is an American Hero

Yes, a thousand times, yes.  
I, as a gay man and an equality absolutist, am not at all offended by Stephen Colbert's joke which referred to Donald Trump's mouth as Putin's "cock holster".   For a start, straight men and women are quite capable of being the receptive participant in oral sex.  Second, it's an accurate metaphor for Trump's relationship with Putin and the Russian billionaire crook's club.  Three words, "gay for pay".  Trump is essentially a porn star.  Third, the FCC is clearly doing what the Republican-fascist right wants them to do, it is coming out as the political tool it was always never supposed to be.   

Update:  Oh, he's claiming that I'm agreeing with him?  When did he start speaking as a gay man?  As I used to say back when I wasted too many hours at Duncan's declining blog, "As they used to say, I don't want him in the club." 

The Week After Which It All Started Going Down Hill

Image result for lyndon johnson signing voting rights act

I knew if I mocked the Left Forum I'd get outraged response from the play-lefties of the play-left. I'm busy.  Go read the glorious history of the Left Forum as told by itself, starting, ironically, with the words "In the Beginning" as if what comes after is to be declared good,  flowing out of the Socialist Scholars Conference which was established in the pivotal year of 1965, which might well count as the high water mark of the American left.  August 6, 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed and signed into law.  It was also the year when Medicare and Medicaid became law one week before.  The American left has never had a week like that since then.  I will point out that was under President Lyndon Johnson, without whom none of it would have passed but who was reviled by the American left, then and after.

The  first Socialist Scholars Conference was held almost a month after that, September 9-11, 1965. While I would never attribute the power to the lily white crowd of mostly college faculty who mounted the mighty effort with having arrested any further progress, the entire period of its and the successor Left Forum coincides exactly with the first slow, then ever gathering speed of decline into the Nixon administration, the Reagan one, increasing corporate fascist rule and attacks on the progress up till 1965.  Things steadily devolved as gloriously, dishonestly, themed Left Forum conferences were mounted, one after another as the pageant of impotence and counter-productive declamation continued.  Many a session held on such pressing issues as declaring the innocence of the Rosenbergs, who knows what lacunae of Marxist theory being filled in to no end - though the one a year or so back by the guy who slammed people like Stephen Hawking for not being sufficiently rigidly ideological materialists is one I'd like a video of - I'd guess maybe four people might have show up to it.

They haven't put out their program of sessions and panels, etc. for the one they're going to throw next month, I'm sure there will be plenty to mock.  One thing that I'm even more certain of, nothing productive will come of it just as nothing productive comes from that play left in the form of magazine, radio and online scribbleage, columnage and babbleage.   The only thing that ever comes from the play left is counter-productive and self-defeating.  Go look at them rehashing the Bernie Sanders campaign, going on a year after he endorsed Hillary Clinton.  They can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned and the left would be better off for it.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

National Audio Theater Festival

If I were younger and I could afford it, I'd be going to the National Audio Theater Festival the beginning of the second week of June.  It looks fun.  And I say that as someone who swore off of having anything to do with theater people almost a half a century ago.   For one thing, most of these guys are adults.   I could be a romantic lead!

I have to say, it looks a lot more productive than the Left Forum, held the week before.  I mean, how many times do we have to rehash the ancient grudges of the nearly extinct commies of the 1950s? Besides, I've never been to Missouri.

Update:  Here's a great resource available for free at the NATF website,  The Well-Tempered Audio Dramatist by Yuri Rasovsky.   It has a lot of good looking advice about a lot of things in it, much of it relevant to music recording though a lot of that information is already dated, some of it is still relevant.   As Richard Fish says in this self-interview - looks like the same shirt he had on in the video above - high quality recording equipment is cheaper than it's ever been.   My far from high end lap top with my old Shure microphone and some editing software sounds better than the best stuff I used to use at the electronic music studio I worked at in the 1960s.  And it's so much easier to use.

Update 2:   I had a really good Shure microphone I'm used to and there's an adapter available.  If I were buying a microphone today I might buy a different one but I really like mine.  

Hate Mail - A Simels' Place Is In The Wrong

I don't know enough about Stephen Fry's latest PR gimmick to have an opinion on it and I don't much care.  The guy is an idiot and a bigot. 

Update: Yeah, I read that story.  That interview that Carl Stern did with Rabbi Heschel had the right answer, that God even in Genesis, as people were such a disappointment, God didn't prevent them from acting freely. Blaming God for what people do is stupid.  I mean, God's not to blame for your stupidity, that's your choice.  

Update 2:  The version of the story I read said the Rabbi acted as judge, not the plaintiff. Maybe you didn't read that, just as you never read anything you can skim. 

Update 3:  If you're going to put words in my mouth would you at least get them from someone who isn't as stupid as you? 

Update 4:  I loathed Jeff Sessions before you ever heard of him, jackass.  

Is This What They Call A Treatment?

I don't write fiction but if I did I wouldn't write some lame High Castle type of thing, I'd write about how the biological determinists had won and killed off all of the groups they targeted in their quest for an improved human species.  

But, one of the things such jerks never realize is that once you've started measuring people on a scale of valuation as is contained in Darwinism, and neo-eugenics and evo-psy, there will always be the inclination to ever more cullings of the human population in which there will always be those who are deemed of lesser value than those deemed to be above them and that their elimination will, then, be what is deemed to be desirable.  

I'd have it down to the last handful of supermen who battle it out and then have the last man, alone, unable to leave his superior genes to anyone because he can't breed by himself.   The numb skull.  Only problem, there would be no one who could honestly be admirable enough to function as a hero, they'd all be assholes who deserved to die.  

That's what I'd write if I wrote fiction.  Maybe I could write a radio play about it, but I don't do dialog very well and I'm more a listener than a playwright. 

Update:  Oooh,  oooh,  or better, that the last few got to be so interbred that their descendants were sickly, psychotic, idiots. 

"I would be frightened if I were ruled by a person who is satisfied, to have the answers to everything."

It is one of the great advantages to have not replaced my TV when they switched to digital that I can't be tempted to listen to the Sunday morning blather shows, the shows that make Sunday morning, what used to be the Christian Sabbath into the period in which more lies are told to more people than any other time of the week.  I don't know if they still show Saturday morning cartoons, if they do that's probably less bad than what they put on, sponsored by some of our worst corporations, on Sunday mornings.

But as recently as the early 1970s, network TV had other things on, as well.  Those days went with the Reagan administration doing away with public service requirements, the Fairness Doctrine, equal time provisions, etc.  Which was a major step in the long term plan to turn the United States from a democracy into a corporate-fascist state.  Rabbi Heschel did a pretty good job of predicting what the results of such stuff already being promoted in the early 70s, the Nixon administration, would be and, back then, they would still put it on national TV.    My transcript begins after about 17:40 but it followed on a discussion of religious people being involved in political protests so here is a link from a few minutes before.

Carl Stern:  Is the wonder of it the torment that man has the problem solving machine that he is, that you think, as I detect is the essence of being, of living a human life

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel:  Yes you see, and that is true.  But, you see, one of the great sins of contemporary education is to give the impression you can solve all problems.  Or there are no problems.

Actually, the greatness of man is that he faces problems.  I would judge a person by how many deep problems he's concerned with. 

Carl Stern:  Is not the quest of religion, though, to give one a sense of inner peace? 

Rabbi Heschel: You have to understand the meaning of inner peace.  Let me first give you first an example of a man who has no problems.  Let me give you a dramatic fictitious picture.  Here stands a man – and I'll tell you,  this is a man who has no problems – do you know why?   He's an idiot!  Cause a man has problems!  And the more complicated, the more… the richer he is,  the deeper his problems.  This is our distinction, to have problems, to face problems.  Life is a challenge, not just a satisfaction.  And the calamity of our times is to adduce life to pleasure only.  I'm not against pleasure.   But the greatness of life is the experience of facing a challenge rather than just having satisfaction.  I would be frightened if I were ruled by a person who is satisfied, to have the answers to everything.  

In a very deep sense religion has two things. First of all it's an answer to the ultimate problems of human existence and it also has another side,  it is a challenge to all answers.  It is living in this polarity of these two points.

I dare you to read that without thinking of the Trump regime and Donald Trump's declarations of his brilliance and the brilliance of those around him and the biggest problem he has ever addressed in his life, getting his next triumphal camera time and photo op.

The Links Aren't Missing They're Lying Out There In Full View

In the eleven years I've been formally writing on these topics, I've found that atheists and other fans of biological and physical determinism have a limited number of arguments, any of those I've had reason to address are not that hard to refute, given enough citations.  While it would be fun to rewrite the ones demonstrating, in no uncertain terms, the links, in their own words, between biological determinism and fascism and Nazism, I don't have time today.  So, here.

Neo-Darwinism As A Tool of Neo-Nazis

While he penned The Turner Diaries more than two decades ago, Pierce continues to champion its ugly vision of a world for whites only. A National Alliance radio broadcast aired in early 1997 provides one of many examples:

In 1975, when I began writing The Turner Diaries...I wanted to take all of the feminist agitators and propagandists and all of the race-mixing fanatics and all of the media bosses and all of the bureaucrats and politicians who were collaborating with them, and I wanted to put them up against a wall, in batches of a thousand or so at a time, and machine-gun them. And I still want to do that. I am convinced that one day we will have to do that before we can get our civilization back on track, and I look forward to the day.

The other day I excerpted an article which William Pierce published the same month he published The Turner Diaries in book form for the first time.   I noted that he had previously published it in serial form in his National Vanguard tabloid, ATTACK.   That same month Pierce published a piece in ATTACK #55 in which he lavished praise on E. O. Wilson's Sociobiology and joined in attacking Sociobiology's critics, a counter-attack which other supporters of Sociobiology had been at for a couple of years already. While I think some of them implied the same things, Pierce, even writing in his cover-story style, got right into the Jewish identity of a number of those critics. 

THE AUGUST 1 issue of Time magazine carried a six-page cover story on sociobiology, which is just a fancy name for the biological study of groups of interacting organisms — including human societies.  Charles Darwin demolished one Jewish myth, and his successors are now finding the courage to tackle another: that of the infinite malleability of human nature.)

It is one of the things I've noticed in this latest review of the material that Darwinists such as Pierce are remarkably able to hold opposite views of reality, depending on who and what they are talking about.  In his piece I analyzed the other day, he lauded the view that the universe is always changing, evolving to a higher state, which he contrasts to the popular mischaracterization of Jewish-Christian thinking that the universe is static and unchanging.  However, as is typical of neo-Darwinist conceptions of such things, they loathe the idea that human beings can change, that their characters and limits are not set by the character of their chromosomes at conception.  

A book or more of such contradictions held by the proponents of Natural Selection could be written.  A chapter discussing the self-interest of those who hold such contradictions, depending on who or what is being granted dispensations from their rigidly held beliefs would be necessary for a full treatment of the subject. 

The Time story has many flaws. In addition to its inevitable bias, it treats its subject in the typically jazzy, junky style we have come to expect whenever one of the controlled media gets its grubby paws on something of real value. Yet, the Time editors left enough solid truth in their story that the intelligent reader must scratch his head and wonder whether they have suddenly developed suicidal tendencies; the article is a loaded and cocked revolver pointed straight at their black hearts.

Of course, it is possible that the media masters are too busy counting their shekels these days to worry about the deeper implications of some of the things they allow to appear in print. In any event, they do include in the sociobiology article a sampling of the rantings of their “court scientists,” all of whom viciously denounce sociobiology and the scientists working in this discipline: “Dangerously racist,” screams Harvard’s 1984-style Committee Against Racism; “genetic capitalism,” scoffs the University of Chicago’s Marxist-Jewish anthropologist Marshall Sahlins; “bullshit,” exclaims Harvard’s worried neo-Lamarckian biologist Richard Lewontin.

In doing this Pierce echos the mainstream of criticism of the critics of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology.  Notably, many of its critics are Jewish, hardly surprising considering the recent events which most of those Jewish people had witnessed in their lifetime.  Though the mainstream accusations against them focus on their alleged or past or admitted Marxism.  Though many of the critics of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology are not Marxists, at all.  But the angry retorts of Wilson, Pinker and others within that camp generally focus on that canard instead of addressing the observations and concerns of their critics.  

Considering the warnings of the 1975 statement of the Sociobiology Study Group, in the passage posted here yesterday, that Sociobiology and its associated sciences would serve a revival of eugenics and posed a risk of neo-Nazi violence, that William L. Pierce was so quick to see its potential for his ideology was rather rapid confirmation of those fears which have not yet been taken seriously in science and certainly not in the media which has adopted the most obvious of eugenic thinking as a result of these sciences.  

Pierce continued:

The simple reason for the intemperate denunciations — and the reason why Time Managing Editor Henry Grunwald erred badly in judgment when he OK’d the article — is that the already shaky credibility of the entire pseudoscientific rationalization for current liberal dogmas on racial equality and human nature can be sustained only so long as those dogmas are scrupulously shielded from any contact with scientific truth. Recent developments in sociobiological research put the racial equalitarians and the “environment is everything” mythologists in the same untenable position in which Darwin’s theory of evolution put the believers in Genesis a century ago.

And like any Darwinist, Pierce was eager to give credit to Charles Darwin in anticipating this extension of Natural Selection. 

Despite Time’s headline description of sociobiology as “A New Theory of Behavior,” the discipline is not really new. Darwin himself laid the cornerstone of sociobiology in his little-known “third book,” The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872. Since then many scientists have explored one aspect or another of group evolution. Three decades ago the eminent British anthropologist, embryologist, and anatomist, Sir Arthur Keith, published his A New Theory of Human Evolution, dealing with the genetic basis of altruism, xenophobia, and other inherited social traits. What is new is the emergence of the sociobiologists from their closets after more than 30 years of moral intimidation.

It was 33 years after the fall of the Third Reich and the revelation to the wider world of the Nazi eugenic murders in hospitals and in industrial murder facilities.   I will remind you that this piece was published the same month Pierce put out The Turner Diaries in book form for the first time which were an encouragement to future Einsatzgruppen who he hoped would continue and finish the extermination of most of the world's population, leaving his master race the only people in the world. 

Where could he have gotten such an idea from?  Well, as he read Darwin's 'little-known "third book," it's pretty safe to guess he read his "second book" The Descent of Man, the one which contains such ideas.  This infamous passage, for example. 

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. 'Anthropological Review,' April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.*

I have seen this passage twisted through the most ridiculous contortions by Darwin's defenders but it's clear that the mainstream understanding of Darwinism admits what it plainly says, that when the "civilised races of man" "exterminate, AND REPLACE**, the savage races throughout the world" it will produce "man in a more civilised state, as we may hope  even than the Caucasian" meant that white folk were destined to rule the world and the results would be a superior species of humans.   That, to state it baldly, is exactly what the Nazis and neo-Nazis such as Pierce find scientific support of their dream in.  What Charles Darwin said, the" hope" he expressed is exactly their hope, stated in no uncertain terms as science. 

And, I will point out, that the only motive for Darwin to have come to those horrible and most extreme conclusions isn't in some kind of exhaustive confirmation from carefully collected data carefully and exactingly quantified and analyzed, it is through assumptions leaped to on the basis of his Natural Selection.  As I said yesterday, the foremost use of Natural Selection has been as an oracle to "see" what cannot be seen, only, as physicists learned in the early part of the 20th century, what you use to "see" such things with have an inevitable part in determining what you see with it.  It is one of the great discoveries of physics in the past century that the means of seeing things inevitably determines the character of what you see.   Clearly the physicist Pierce didn't take that seriously into account in his view of Natural Selection, something which is practically ubiquitous in its use as a frame through which to view evolution.

Continuing with Pierce isn't pleasant but it is a real eye opener and confirmation of what the Sociobiology Study Group warned about the consequences of reviving biological determinism as science in the real world.  

The outbreak of the Second World War gave the pseudoscientists an advantage in silencing their critics which they exploited with true chutzpah: anyone who questioned their doctrines or who dared to report scientific findings contrary to the liberal-Jewish doctrine of racial equality and the infinite malleability of human nature was accused of having Nazi tendencies and being subversive.

In the immediate postwar years the myth of the “six million gassed Jews” was given an enormous buildup by the controlled media, and the pseudoscientists never hesitated to suggest that anyone who accepted the scientific facts which the German National Socialists had accepted must share the Nazis’ “guilt.” To cite evidence, for example, that Blacks and Whites are not only physically different but also psychically different, implying that racial differences in behavior are, to a large extent, genetically determined, was considered equivalent to putting on a Nazi armband and calling for the extermination of all Blacks.

I will remind you of Pierce's commentary on The Turner Diaries quoted by the ADL above, reminding you that he first published it in the same tabloid this piece appeared in. 

Jewish gas-chamber propaganda is still trotted out regularly by hecklers at lectures by the University of California’s psychologist Arthur Jensen and Stanford University’s physicist-turned-geneticist William Shockley, both of whom have presented hard evidence that Negro mental inferiority is hereditary. After more than 30 years, however, the time-worn fables of the Nazis’ human soap and lampshades have lost much of their bite, and since Jensen’s courageous first venture into taboo territory in 1969 dozens of other scientists have followed.

One of the greatest shames of our race is that, as a whole, we showed so little moral backbone for so long. We allowed ourselves to be intimidated by an alien gang of hucksters posing as scientists into going along with their suppression of truth and promotion of self-serving lies for nearly 40 years. What makes the shame even greater is that we displayed our cowardice most abjectly in the very places we have always most proudly boasted of our bold and fearless independence: in our great universities.

Out of the thousands of our scholars who saw through the Jewish-liberal fakery, only a handful had the courage to challenge the liars, deceivers, and obscurantists openly. The vast majority swallowed their pride — and their honor — and put salary and social acceptance ahead of their obligation to truth and their people. Even today a substantial portion of our most distinguished, degree-laden savants tremble in fear that someone may publicly label them “bigots” or “Nazis,” and they nervously hasten to assure anyone who will listen that they are not really racists.

The recent work of Harvard sociobiologist Edward Wilson and others which is cited in Time is a welcome new wave of truth over the top of the dam of lies, censorship, and repression, but it is only a precursor of the flood which will follow as the dam inevitably crumbles under the growing pressure behind it, and the alien filth is swept away forever in a cleansing rush.

The great science of life, the foundations of which were laid by Charles Darwin and Gregor (Johann) Mendel more than a hundred years ago, will finally be free of the fetters placed on it by evil men and their soul-sick disciples. Our people will then have at their disposal a mighty tool in their never-ending quest for their unlimited Destiny, a tool which will transform not only the lives of our children and our children’s children, but all of Creation.

I think I won't analyze that right now.  

I certainly doubt that E. O. Wilson, if he knew about it, could have been happy to have William L. Pierce's support and endorsement and I certainly don't accuse him of being a racist or an antisemite.  I doubt in the extreme that he has any desire to kill anyone or even express as much enthusiasm for the result of mass slaughter as Charles Darwin and so many of those whose thinking was changed by such ideas as H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw (remembering Pierce's use of Shaw's Man and Superman and Shaws witty advocacy of mass murder in gas chambers noted here the other day). Wilson is a 20th century American who worked in a milieu which, one would think, would never continuance such talk.  The very culture of egalitarianism that Pierce hated so much that his followers hate today as can be seen online and in the news when such incidents as the mass murders of Dylan Roof are committed.  

But a mere lack of desire to consider oneself as superior on the basis of race shouldn't be counted on to act as a governor on the application of such assertions by scientists as Wilson, Dawkins, etc. make. The mere social disapproval of such talk didn't even keep it out of the formal literature of such science, as the Kevin MacDonald scandal proves beyond a shadow of a doubt.   There is nothing in science, in materialism, in an atheist-secular society which has the strength to tame and restrain such ideas.  Even a nominal belief that "all men are created equal and endowed with rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" didn't prevent eugenics from being the Supreme Court sanctioned law in the United States, whose eugenics programs were an inspiration to the Nazis.  

Natural Selection is inevitably linked to the idea that the deaths of groups of people, the disabled, those deemed to be inferior from their biological characteristics due to ethnicity or race, will be a benefit to the species in the wake of their deaths.   That is the inevitable meaning of it as applied to the human population.  That result is more massively evidenced in the history of eugenics in German and other languages, it is the reason that William Pierce found Darwinism and its extension in Sociobiology in the 1970s, after eugenics had been suppressed in the wake of World War Two, such good news. 

* When I was looking up Darwin's citations, trying to find the passage he described, I didn't find it but I did find evidence that Darwin likely lied about what Schaaffhausen said.   I have never found any passage of Schaaffhausen that said what Darwin alleged he did in that statement in The Descent of Man. If any of Darwin's defenders would like to produce the document where Schaaffhausen said what Darwin claims he did in that incredible proto-Nazi statement I would welcome having it and I will post a retraction of my suspicions. 

**  In short, they would take over the territory of those they had exterminated, exactly the Nazi policy of  Lebensraum

Note:  I will pause in posting on this issue unless someone brings something up that I feel needs to be addressed.   I suppose I should thank my enemies for making me feel this was necessary to go into, "Skeptic Tank" particularly who made me realize that I hadn't looked at explicit Darwinism in American neo-Nazis, in English, without any problems of translation.  In William L. Pierce, the link between a scientists reading of Darwin and neo-Nazi murder is undeniable except by the most massive of lies.