Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stupy and Thunderboy never heard of Brendan Behan and apparently are proud of their ignorance.

In short, typical day at Duncan's Brain, Trussed.  Really, that's what they're known as. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama (posted early) - Brendan Behan - The Quare Fella

Behan’s play was perfectly poised: it premiered in November 1954, seven months after Michael Manning’s hanging in Mountjoy and seven months before Ruth Ellis’s capital sentence was carried out in Holloway. Both prisoners were executed by Albert Pierrepoint, perhaps the most prolific serial-killer Britain has produced, with 434 legal stranglings to his credit. Human sacrifice itself remained on the Irish statute books until 1992, two years before the Eurovision interval-performance that became Riverdance.

An erudite man and no cartoon-drunk, the author of THE QUARE FELLA would have known that the theatrical form we call tragedy comes from the Greek tragodos, meaning the (death) procession of the scapegoat, and that the audience is therefore an accomplice to the cruelty it depicts. In the fiftieth anniversary year of his passing, in the era of the YouTube universe when videos of state atrocities receive millions of Internet hits, the transmission of his masterpiece is more than timely.Produced by Míchéal O hAodha (1956)Arthur O'Sullivan - Dunlavin

John Stephenson - Neighbour
Frank O’Dwyer – 1st Prisoner
Charles McCarthy – 3nd Prisoner
Eamon Keane – Young Prisoner
Lionel Day – Lifer/Singer/Jenkinson
Thomas Studley – Mixer/Mr. Healy
Eamon Kelly – Warder Regan
Joseph O'Dea – Warder Donnelly
Niall Tóibín – 1st Warder
George Greene – the Governor
Chris Curran – the Principal
Brendan Cauldwell – 2nd Prisoner/Hangman
Conor Farrington – the Chief
Brendan Burke – Juvenile
Leo Leyden – Juvenile
Noel Lynch – Young Warder
Liam De Valley - Singer

Brendan Behan – Singer (Old Triangle)

This is from Irish National Radio,  RTE, you'll have to download it to hear it but it is widely considered one of the great masterpieces of Irish drama.

Sinners In The Hands Of A Calculating god - The Injustice That Results From Turning People Into Integers

In the preface of his enormously influential book, The Principles of Psychology, William James started by insisting that the study of human minds was to be treated as a physical science, holding up the physics of 1890 as the quintessential model of a properly scientific study of "finite individual minds"* when there was certainly scant evidence that minds are susceptible to the same methods of treatment as physical objects in motion.  That assumption which he certainly shared with his other academic colleagues who were trying to get their very new subject into a university setting seemed sensible to them based on the rudest of studies available to them.

Latching onto the hegemony of physical science was the fastest way to academic respectability, even then.  But the decision to base the study of something insusceptible to more than the most remote of inferential implications, incapable of direct observation, dependent on the otherwise unverifiable reports of the individuals who experienced their own minds and mental states,  and, especially, the decision to just jump to the conclusion that such a non-thing was susceptible to the mathematical analysis whose application to even perceived objects was beginning to strain the methods of classical physics,  could hardly have been based in any kind of secure knowledge.   His statement, "I have therefore treated our passing thoughts as integers,  and regarded the mere laws of their coexistence with brain-states as the ultimate laws for our science," was and has proven to be an audacious but scarcely warranted leap of faith.  I think the chaotic history of psychology, as a science and as a producer of reliable knowledge gives people a good reason to doubt that such an approach will yield reliable knowledge outside of, perhaps, some of the simpler mental states.

I think the beginning of the academic study of psychology, coming as it did, may have lacked a different framing of its study.  Its model was the ground which George Ellis mentioned as controlling Einstein's conception of human minds as the product of and existing within the limits of physical causation.  That is the same assumption that James made.  But there are other possible models for conceiving of minds.  Thinking of the brain (on which James founded his conceptual model) as a radio, an apparatus that receives and transmits information but doesn't generate that information or contain it or use it, is another one I've seen people use.  Such a thing wasn't available to James in 1890 and wouldn't have been available to Einstein during the period when he formed his framing for dealing with the world.   Later on as they were able to develop mathematical descriptions of games and processes, those became framings available for doing the same thing.  Though all of those are merely descriptions by drawing analogies, they don't reproduce the actual phenomena of minds, they merely provide a partial and, by choice, exclusionary means of trying to contain something they really can't address.

You would think, though, that Einstein, the man who participated in the demonstration that even James' quintessential science, physics, was dependent on the minds of the people and inseparable from those minds, that their observations of things couldn't be divorced from the fact that everything they could think of about the things they observed determined what they could say about them, would have realized that trying to insist that the thoughts were the product of the things they observed was bound to lead to insoluble paradoxes and banal tautologies. In the end, the entire enterprise of psychology as it grew up in the imaginations of people, all of the various proposed studies of minds as science, was based on a a choice made to exclude any treatment which wasn't framed by and limited by the merely conventional agreed to rules.


When the law, judges trained in the same universities under the hegemonic influence of the physical sciences, adopt the claims of scientists that people, their minds and their lives are treatable "as integers", the results can be extremely bad and produce the opposite of justice.  This recent study by by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner, published by Pro Publica, is as good a demonstration as possible of the dangers of coming up with algorithms which judges, in their naivete, adopt and apply to the lives of those who they have power over.  The focus of Pro Public is in the obvious racial bias that such a treatment produces, even when its possible the authors and sellers of the algorithm don't have that intent.  It is a long, rather disturbing - to a Black reader justifiably horrifying - article about how the algorithmic treatment of the lives of Black people by the courts institutionalizes discrimination against them, the history of economic disadvantage, social stigma and other long ingrained and established biases in the general society can be imposed on them by the same kind of scientific framing that has the greatest respectability but which is entirely unwarranted.

The study starts with an excellent example of how one of the most widely used of computer-based predictions of future criminality proves to be wrong, quite quickly and how a selection of data based on operational efficency can carry obvious biases that gurantee a skewing of results:

ON A SPRING AFTERNOON IN 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.

Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away.
But it was too late — a neighbor who witnessed the heist had already called the police. Borden and her friend were arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft for the items, which were valued at a total of $80.

Compare their crime with a similar one: The previous summer, 41-year-old Vernon Prater was picked up for shoplifting $86.35 worth of tools from a nearby Home Depot store.
Prater was the more seasoned criminal. He had already been convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, for which he served five years in prison, in addition to another armed robbery charge. Borden had a record, too, but it was for misdemeanors committed when she was a juvenile.

Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk.

Two years later, we know the computer algorithm got it exactly backward. Borden has not been charged with any new crimes. Prater is serving an eight-year prison term for subsequently breaking into a warehouse and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics.

And that is just the first of many examples taken from real life with the less reductionistic, more inclusive,  methods of journalism instead of the natural sciences, which demolishes the assumption that the administration of justice by sciency algorithm produces justice instead of merely putting a more respectable buffer between the judge's ruling and the generalized racism of the society.  By a pantomime of the methods of physics, the thing gains an entirely deceptive assumption of reliability that was unwarranted from the start.**

The belief of judges, of others with the power to mandate the use of such computer programs in the administration of justice (you have to wonder what part lobbying by those with a financial interest in selling the program play in that) that their use of such a mathematical approach produces justice is made more reliable by the trappings of science.  Reading the article at one point I couldn't stop thinking of the speech by the judge, Danforth, in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, in which another algorithm, without the trappings of mathematics or physics but of legal expediency led to him answering a plea for reconsideration,

Danforth: Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more. I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that will not confess will hang. Twelve are already executed; the names of these seven are given out, and the village expects to see them die this morning. Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering. If retaliation is your fear, know this - I should hang ten thousand that dared to rise against the law, and an ocean of salt tears could not melt the resolution of the statutes. Now draw yourselves up like men and help me, as you are bound by Heaven to do. Have you spoken with them all, Mr. Hale?

Being a man of the 20th century, Miller used the framing of the infamous Salem Witch trials in a theocracy as an understood quintessence of judicial depravity for an analogue to the red scare he wanted people to hold in similar infamy.  But it would have been much more timely and accurate to point to the elevation of science to the position of a god and scientists as the expression of the reliable truth, their methods relied on.  The framing used in the courts in the 1690s in Massachusetts was more likely to produce eventual repentance than the current one, we can't even get educated people to see through IQ testing when it is an obvious and biased fraud.  Such is the potence of a belief in the ultimate dependability of anything given the trappings of science.  It would have been a more accurate analogy but it would not have resonated, the faith in such social science being assumed.  You have to wonder if he'd written a play making a similar point in the 1690s what analogy he would have used to make a similar point about the witch trials, one which would have used the existing cultural framing to make people see what was happening right before their eyes, reduced by their framing to a deceptive view of reality.***

*  Being a far greater philosopher than he was a scientist, William James made an admission as to what he was up to, including the fact that he knew he was making some pretty enormous assumptions based on his decision to present his study as a physical science.

I have kept close to the point of view of natural science throughout the book.  Every natural science assumes certain  data uncritically, and declines to challenge the elements between which its own 'laws' obtain, and from which its own deductions are carried on. Psychology, the science of finite individual minds, assumes as its data (1) thoughts and feelings, and (2) a physical world in time and space with which they coexist and which (3) they know.  Of course these data themselves are discussable; but the discussion of them (as of other elements) is called metaphysics and falls outside the province of this book.  This book, assuming that thoughts and feelings exist and are vehicles of knowledge, thereupon contends that psychology when she has ascertained the empirical correlation of the various sorts of thought or feeling with definite conditions of the brain, can go no farther -- can go no farther, that is, as a, natural science. If she goes farther she becomes metaphysical.  All attempts to explain our phenomenally given thoughts  as  products of deeper-lying entities (whether the latter be named 'Soul,' 'Transcendental Ego,' 'Ideas,' or 'Elementary Units of Consciousness') are metaphysical.  This book consequently rejects both the associationist and the spiritualist theories; and in this strictly positivistic point of view consists the only feature of it for which I feel tempted to claim originality.  Of course this point of view is anything but ultimate.  Men must keep thinking; and the data assumed by psychology, just like those assumed by physics and the other natural sciences, must some time be overhauled.   The effort to overhaul them clearly and thoroughly is metaphysics; but metaphysics can only perform her task well when distinctly conscious of its great extent.  Metaphysics fragmentary, irresponsible, and half-awake, and unconscious that she is metaphysical, spoils two good things when she injects herself into a natural science.  And it seems to me that the theories both of a spiritual agent and of associated 'ideas' are, as they figure in the psychology-books, just such metaphysics as this. Even if their results be true, it would be as well to keep them, as thus presented, out of psychology as it is to keep the results of idealism out of physics.

I have therefore treated our passing thoughts as integers,  and regarded the mere laws of their coexistence with brain-states as the ultimate laws for our science.   The reader will in vain seek for any closed system in the book. It is mainly a mess of descriptive details, running out into queries which only a metaphysics alive to the weight of her task can hope successfully to deal with.  That will perhaps be centuries hence; and meanwhile the best mark of health that a science can show is this unfinished-seeming front.

**  A similar thing can be seen when people as presumably disinclined to racism as Kevin Drum takes IQ testing and the entirely similar expression of societal racism and the resultant economic and cultural inequalities it produces as demonstration of racial differences in intelligence, seriously enough to not point out that its validity is entirely dodgy.   IQ has also figured in court cases and is certainly used by those who can administer things like school admissions, employment, etc. which can have as much of an impact on lives and which certainly includes racial biases in its means of turning people into integers.   Kevin Drum, though I like him and like a lot of what he writes, is a good example of someone whose better intentions and journalistic practice are influenced by an unwarranted faith in the reality of something asserted in mathematical terms.

Unless you start by realizing what you're doing when you do that, that the results are determined by your choices at ever step of the way, what you exclude and include in your data gathering, your belief in the results as an absolute picture of reality is perhaps even more grotesquely superstitious than what informed the Salem witch trials.

***  This has already gotten to be long or I would go into the outrageous judicial use of expert psychologist testimony and the judicial algorithm of settled decision in cases, in the words of the disgusting Chief Justice Charles Fried, the desireability of "the community's interest in finality" over justice, decency and the truth, used by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts in repeatedly allowing the entirely unjust and disgusting - and pseudo-scientifically informed - conviction of the Amirault family during the largely TV incited ritual child abuse scare of the 1980s and 90s to stand.

The history of that trial and the actions of its official participants from start to finish are one of the most outrageous of injustices in recent American legal history.  It happening in Eastern Massachusetts, William James' Harvard played an oversized role in providing the personae dramatis. Only, it wasn't a play,  it was real lives which were ruined by judicial scientistic superstition and indifference.  The putrid Charles Fried went back to Harvard after he left the Supreme Judicial court. If I had more time I'd go into his other disgusting activities.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dusan Bogdanovic - Polyrhythmic and Polymetric Studies for Guitar

Dusan Bogdanovic, guitar

I really like being able to read the score, it helps to notice what's going on in the music.  Dusan Bogdanovic is one of the best composers working today.   It makes me wish I'd kept up guitar playing because this is probably the best period of composing for the instrument as it is today, in its history, It's like the flowering of the five course instrument in the 17th and 18th centuries making fuller use of its sonic capabilities in a more polyphonic context.

"The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined."

I've got a lot to do this afternoon and I don't have time to write a detailed refutation to your claim by confirming that all of those materialists I named this morning operate by ignoring the philosophical consequences of their claims for the very validity of their claims, but, luckily, I read an interview that means you don't have to take my word for that practice by their materialist-ideological colleagues in science do exactly that, the eminent physicist and cosmologist George Ellis said it very well:

Horgan: Krauss, Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson have been bashing philosophy as a waste of time. Do you agree?

Ellis: If they really believe this they should stop indulging in low-grade philosophy in their own writings. You cannot do physics or cosmology without an assumed philosophical basis. You can choose not to think about that basis: it will still be there as an unexamined foundation of what you do. The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.

Actually philosophical speculations have led to a great deal of good science. Einstein’s musings on Mach’s principle played a key role in developing general relativity. Einstein’s debate with Bohr and the EPR paper have led to a great of deal of good physics testing the foundations of quantum physics. My own examination of the Copernican principle in cosmology has led to exploration of some great observational tests of spatial homogeneity that have turned an untested philosophical assumption into a testable – and indeed tested - scientific hypothesis. That’ s good science.

In fact, if you read the article at the link, Ellis addresses one of the very issues I included in my criticism of materialist assertion:

Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: "If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will." Do you believe in free will?

Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.

I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.

Ellis is a physicist who is being addressed about science so he addresses the consequences of being a materialist for science, I think the consequences of materialism inserted into the general culture have even more specific and dangerous political and legal consequences.  I will write more about that tonight if I have the chance, tomorrow if I don't. 

Americans Are Having To Do Things Like Burn Off Their Own Cancer Lesions With Lye Right Now

My state, Maine, is one of those states under a Republican governor, the putrid Paul LePage and Republicans in control of the Legislature and Senate which refused to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, as a result there are large numbers of people in my state for whom it is still a pre-ACA health care system.  I know people who cannot afford treatment and who do things like burning off their skin cancer lesions with lye or who try their best to treat serious conditions with a combination of over the counter drugs, folk remedies and whose family members with serious mental health problems self-medicate with alcohol or whatever they can get hold of.  There are a number of states like that.  I can imagine that pretty soon there will be more as the Republicans in the congress and in the Trump regime undermine the ACA anyway they can to try to discredit it.  

As we await the Congressional Budget Office evaluation of the latest Republican war plan against the American People coming out of the Senate, we shouldn't forget that even if that fails that the Republicans are conducting a war of low-grade terror against currently uninsured Americans and their families.  Even as Susan Collins and whatever other Republicans who have been made to fear the consequences of the Senate passing a bill, strike a tableau posture symbolizing principle, it's good to remember that they are part of the Republican Party that opposed and opposes the ACA and universal coverage that people can afford, not to mention the most rational of all just systems, universal single-payer coverage.  

It's also good to remember that the party of such "moderates" contains the psychopathic cruelty of Ted Cruz and the sociopathic indifference of Rand Paul.  

The Republicans are at war against the American People on behalf of the nation of Billionaires.  That is a low-grad, low intensity war that is not talked about much of anywhere in the media but it is a war that is killing tens of thousands of Americans right now, every day.  Republicans want to escalate it for the profit of the Billionaires who treat the country as their colony.  Many of those Billionaires live elsewhere, the Republicans explicitly support the ones living in Russia, maintaining their puppet in the White House.  We need to get rid of the chains they have on us, we need to get rid of their colonial administrators and their propagandists. 

Canada, Europe, elsewhere, look and learn because they've got your healthcare in their sites, too. 

Materialism Is The Ultimate Act Of Negative Question Begging Containing Its Refutation In Its Starting Premise

Maybe it's only a bizarre experience to read the claims of materialists who dismiss the significance or even the existence of freedom of thought, free will, to read  their claims about the biological and physical determinism of human minds and thoughts, the idea that we are mere "computers made of meat,"  "lumbering robots" controlled by and at the service of our all controlling genes.... if you take into account that their dismissal of minds and what minds do is a product of their minds which they, apparently, want to exclude from their materialist monist, universal claims dismissing the transcendent significance of what minds do.  

But once you do start with that most obvious and entirely pertinent fact about what that atheist-materialist song and dance of what is permitted to be called science is, where it comes from, that they can get away with doing it in an academic and scientific setting is one of the most bizarre spectacles in today's life.  It rivals any of the long past, now ludicrous academic discussions of demonology or spontaneous generation* or any other now unfashionable or overturned dogma in academia past for irrationality.  Actually, it doesn't rival them for irrationality, it surpasses any and all of the mistaken ideas of the past because it contains the discrediting and dismissal announcement for its own statements.  Materialism is the ultimate in negative question begging, its starting premise contains the refutation of its conclusion. 

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Paul and Patricia Churchland, Peter Singer, Steven Pinker, E. O, Wilson .... all of the celebrity atheist-materialists who have attacked the idea that the mind transcends material causation, that consciousness exists as a significant thing,  who claim that freedom of thought is an illusion, all of them peddle ideas that, under their ideological system could not be other than the pedestrian product of the particular and parochial physical components of their brains, any chance of them achieving the status of truth or, as they might like to think of it, "objective truth" is of a vanishingly low probability.  The ideas of their rivals in academia, their intellectual enemies would have exactly the same probability of achieving truth and anyone who accepted their ideas would not be doing so as a transcendent act of truth seeking but, as well, merely having the chemistry of their brains modified according to acts determined, not by their choice but by physical necessity.  

But all of them, every one of these high celebrities of materialist academia and fashion act as if they don't believe their own system.  All of them publish and give talks and speeches asserting their ideas have a status of transcendent truth which their ideas hold is impossible.  All of them look for converts, people who will be convinced that their ideas have a status that transcends the insignificance they demote the products of minds and the minds, themselves to. None of them really believes what they claim, themselves.  They are the intellectual equivalent of some of the worst of the Popes, the Alexander VI's and Benedict IX's of science, people who have made a career on professions of belief while their actions prove they really don't believe any of it and that they have no intention of letting it rule their own lives.  You would think that they would realize - if they really believed what they claim to -  that, according to their claims,  those who don't share their ideas fail to do that because their brains are not set up to concur with them and that there is nothing they could do to change that without changing the physical components of their brains, and how would they do that?  But that's not how they act.  They even present it as some kind of moral failing in those who don't agree with them when their own claims would invalidate that framing of the situation because they claim that the resulting thoughts are not a product of free choice.  They are among the most clueless of intellectuals in history, failing to even take into account the consequences of their claims for the character of their own work. 


I am a political blogger, I started out that way and I continue that way.  Most of what I post is political, either in a particular way dealing with current issues or more generally in support of egalitarian democracy, economic justice and personal freedoms matched with moral responsibility to others.   I am a traditional, American style liberal whose liberalism is based in the line of monotheism of The Law, The Prophets and the Gospels but who believes any religious tradition that contains those same moral precepts is valid and has the potential to generate egalitarian democracy.  It was never my intention in the beginning of my posting pieces to get into these issues but, in studying the problem of the failure of American liberalism it was inevitable that I would end up addressing them. It is as inevitable as it would be that I would attack the pseudo-Christianity of the Republican-fascist right because those are where the destruction of liberal governance come from. 

The intellectual decadence of materialism is consequential politically because its demotion of human beings into objects and its attack on morality seriously undermine the foundations of egalitarian democracy.  As I have pointed out before, that is something which can be seen in the declarations of such people as Haeckel, Huxley and in other Darwinian materialists.  It can certainly be seen through out the entire history of the social sciences, despite any competing claims to the contrary.  But I'm not really interested in that, I'm interested in the undramatic, gradual erosion of the foundations of democracy that come with believing people are objects available for use, that people have the same significance and availability for manipulation and use as a herd of animals as units of economic utility.  The materialist demotion of human minds and human lives is intimately tied up with those consequences, that is seen throughout the literature of materialism, the literature of atheism.  I think that history of thought is well long enough over enough time and through different languages and cultures so that its recurring character is discernable and it is inevitably destructive of egalitarian democracy, economic justice and the universal aspiration of a decent life.  

*  Of course atheist abiogenesists demand that any origin of life was an act of spontaneous generation, just one of their "give me one miracle and I'll demand that the rest of it was something else" features of materialist atheism.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Franz Schubert - Grab Und Mond

Michael - Christian - Peter Paumgarten, Uli Staber

Apparently the first three have the same last name, though I can't swear to that. Brothers?  It's interesting to hear this music sung by a quartet instead of the typical choral performance.  From what I've read Schubert would have been more likely to have conceived of it as sung by such a quartet than a large chorus.  Though I believe such choruses were known to him.

Here it is sung by another quartet:

Egidius Kwartet,

It's a nice, gloomy song for what is a cold, wet Thursday night, here.


The True Evil of Russia’s Cyber War on America

Little Milton - Walking The Backstreets

Colin James - Tin Pan Alley 

Update:  Stupy is trying to get me to post some snark in which he claims that Mick "pissing toad" Jagger and his superannuated Stones are the greatest white blues band ever. 

And he got paid to write that kind of crap for an ad flyer. 

Such is the opinion of someone who knows everything they know about music from reading what people who got paid more than he did to write that kind of crap wrote instead of using his ears.  Well, it helps if the ears are connected to a mind and his is a negligible thing to waste. 

Update 2:  Stupy has 10 comments held back in moderation on this thread alone, he's got at least five more on other threads posted today.   I wonder how long he'll go on like that.  

And I haven't even said "Mop Heads" yet. 

Update 3:  Mr. OCD is up to 12 comments held back in moderation.  He really goes nuts when I post the blues.  I remember last summer when he claimed Little Milton played harp instead of guitar during one of our go rounds.   He's such an expert.  
Why is the Hungarian Nazi and obvious liar on his papers to enter the country, Sebastian Gorka, still in the United States and in the Trump White House instead of his deported ass being on a plane back to Britland?  

Why is the filthy lying Nazi on TV?  

Hate Mail

I do think that the assault on the transcendent aspects of reality is intimately linked to the introduction and hegemony of scientism in the culture.   That starts in exactly the restrictions of what is included within science in order to try to do what its purpose is, to try to find some generally applicable facts about physical objects and phenomena of enhanced reliability.   To do that many aspects of real objects and real phenomena in real life are left out because those aspects, real as they are, aren't relevant to generally discernable qualities of the set of objects and phenomena those particular and real objects and phenomena are members of.   In its most effective science comes up with information about limited aspects those sets of objects and phenomena through abstracting them, removing any particular aspects of them, though there is always a danger that you will either abstract the object out of any real existence or that you will mistake the limited information you can gain through science as an exhaustive reality of the object itself.

When scientists pretend to be able to apply those techniques to human or animal minds, consciousness, intelligence, etc. the returns diminish in direct proportion to the pretenses that are involved.  It is seen in the scandalous history of psychology and the other social sciences as they violate pretty much all of the rules of science while pretending that their results have the reliability of the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry or even the strictly scientific aspects of biology and the life sciences - which have their issues with stretching their practices and what those yield which is permitted to be called "data" but which sometimes leave a lot to be desired in those terms.

When that gets totally out of hand in the even more obvious pseudo-scientific assertions of debunking the very thing which all of the scientists, near scientists, pseudo-scientists and assorted academic wannabees, as can be seen in the assertion that our minds are products of physical causation, free will and free thought are illusions, that consciousness, itself, is a mere epiphenomenon of physical causation and a vulgar, ridiculously reductive conception of genes and DNA and what those really are and really do, they impeach the very minds which are the only place in the known universe where science and all of the rest of it is generated and resides.  The neuroscientists, the people who study consciousness, and right on down to the ultimate decadence of "neuro-philosophers" are like realators who try to sell you a house only to burn it down as you're signing the contract.  They, the Wilsons, the Dennetts, the Churchlands, are the ultimate exemplars of intellectual decadence, the academic institutions that employ them are the ultimate exemplars of academic decadence.

The whole thing is fascinating as a study in how far they are willing to go in destroying the status of everything, including the very categories of truth and reality in persuit of atheist-materialism.  That makes theirs the most decadent of ideologies in the history of recorded human thought, worse than the nihilists who were arguably at least honest about what they were up to.  And as they could corrupt the wider society with their wrecking job on transcendent reality and the truth, they have found their most successful results in such politicians and strongmen who put into practice the results of their work.  Trump and his post-reality period of rule should stand as their greatest experiment and test in reality, such as they leave that as being.

Update:  Steve Simels is a liar and the people he tells his lies to are a small congregation of incurious mid-brow dolts.  I don't care what they don't think.

We Are Witnessing The Fruition Of Modernisms War On Transcendent Reality

Sometime in the past fifteen or so years of reading the claims and declarations and theories of the high atheism of academia, science, the humanities, and the somewhat lower manifestation of that in journalism, I came to the conclusion that even the alleged leftist form of that was not qualitatively different from the vulgar materialism of corporate, consumerist mass culture.  The only difference was the felt need of citation and other trappings and pretenses of something higher that allowed the practitioners of the high atheism to make distinctions so as to feel good about themselves.  I will say that the scribblege of such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens had a lot to do with that realization, their thinking being both resistant to factual rigor and logical coherence.  Though even if those popularizers hadn't been there such people as Daniel Dennett,  E.O. Wilson, Paul and Patricia Churchland and others who make ideological claims that dismiss the significance of consciousness and come up with absurdly inadequate claims about the evolution and presence of the mind would have forced the conclusions.  I have noted, repeatedly, that my concentration of these issues was sparked by a lefty of the barroom atheist variety declaring that "science proved that free will doesn't exist," (in which case, how can you claim rights do or that democracy is possible) but I'd never believed that materialism could be a valid ideological position.

The entire program of late modernism, starting in the 19th century has included a demotion of the significance of the truth (it being assigned a merely relative existence based on general consensus) or morality (demoted to that same merely social relativity) or the status of the individual (the frequently encountered modernist icon who supported fascism is only matched by those who supported other forms of anti-democratic dictatorship such as among the Stalinists, Trotskyites and Maoists) and the mind.   The major thrust of academic modernism has been, through its scientism, one long assault on the very things which justify egalitarian democracy, any such claims of some modernists to be supporters of liberalism in the American sense of equal rights, economic justice and self-determination of the individuals, being more than matched by positions and even entire ideological programs that deny the possibility of the foundations of those in reality.

There has been a bizarre double-speak on that count which is more often found in contradictory ideas being held at the same time.  One, which I've noticed more and more is the use of the word "meme" by people like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes without any seeming understanding that the idea is part of the extreme biological determinism of the neo-eugenicists such as Richard Dawkins and the wacky determinism and reduction of the individual and the mind of people like Daniel Dennett expounds.  If memes are real then there can be no discernable significance to the minds that are the product of their infection, the "lumbering robots" of our genetic determinism - exactly the kind of stuff that the barroom atheist, lefty mentioned above was parroting - and there is no way that egalitarian democracy or even a system that values justice over injustice can survive such an intellectual invalidation.

This came to me while I was watching John Oliver talking with Stephen Colbert talk about the insanity of America, today, in which truth and even reality, itself, has been so undermined that treasonous lies are being normalized in the general babble devoid of holding that some truths are self-evident, some facts are hard facts and, though they may have felt inhibited from making that point, morality is not fungible and and in the end it does really matter.

And if you want to claim that the academic scribblers who promote the high materialism are liberals, that doesn't change for a second the fact that their intellectual program, whatever effect it has, undermines the very foundations on which the American liberalism of equal rights, egalitarian democracy and economic justice.  They dissolve the very morality on which those rest and attack the beliefs on which their reality in the world depend.  In the end, as the likes of Wilson and the Churchlands and Dennett dissolve the validity of the mind in the middle-brow imagination - where most people of influence in society reside - they undermine even the acknowledgement that the truth residing in and depending on those minds, matters.

Think about that the next time you hear Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes or, if I remember correctly, even Bill Moyers use the word "meme".


American style liberalism as described above, isn't a product of modernism or any kind of thinking compatible with a belief that people and their minds are the product of material causation and without any transcendent capacity or value.  It is dependent on things that surpass the current bifurcation between the vulgar materialism of the right or the more conceited materialism of academic modernism.  It really doesn't fit into either of those, it is a totally different thing that those two other categories are in opposition to.   That became obvious in the late 18th century with the disastrous failure of the French Revolution, the scientifically congealed class system in Britain and the slow motion implementation of the claims and promises of the Bill of Rights in the United States.  The reform movements in the United States were a constant struggle for expanding equality and economic justice against the enlightenment - what became the British style of "liberalism" which was based on market economics and freeing of capital instead of equal rights and economic justice.

The faster that traditional American style liberals - wherever in the world they exist - realize that distinction and the danger of atheism-materialism to it the faster it can dissociate itself from the pseudo-left which has always been anti-democratic and in love with violent dictators.  That pseudo-left, the left of the magazines, Jacobin, In These Times, The Nation is notorious for its frequent support for foreign dictators, even last year some of them carried criticism of those who opposed Putin even as it became clear he was supporting Trump.  That left's affection for and romantic promotion of the French revolutionaries, especially the most violent of those who mounted the Reign of Terror, 3/4ths of whose victims were peasants and the poor is a continuing discrediting of it.  That should stand as a symptom of anything and anyone to avoid.

A Good Example of Why TV Advantages Liars Over Text

I have watched this several times, Chris Hayes trying to get Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) to answer the question as to whether or not he approves of what Donald Trump jr. did in colluding with representatives of the Putin crime regime to benefit Donald Trump and it is so frustrating to hear someone as smart as Chris Hayes and his rational questions thwarted by this Republican dialect of Babbleonian.

Pittinger doesn't even do it well but as a result of Hayes playing by the rules of logic and TV host courtesy, he gives this lying ass face time on TV and an ability to pretend he hasn't approved of treason against the United States as he sits as a member of Congress.  Which wouldn't be so terrible if it wasn't a party of such supporters of treason, from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, down who are supporting and covering for the biggest traitors this country has ever known in the highest positions in government.

If they're not going to be more effective at nailing these liars they shouldn't give them face time.   I've heard Republicans do this for decades and it is one of the reasons why live interviews of this kind, especially since the advent of cabloid 24-7 alleged news which has been such a boon for Republican liars.  It's a real life example of the media being the message.  When someone is lying you need to have enough control of the flow to point out they're lying as many times as needed, the same if what they're saying amounts to something as awful as supporting treason for political gain as Pittinger, Ryan and others have explicitly done while holding high office.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Staple Singers - I'm Coming Home

I always come back to this, one of the supreme works of religious art of the past century.

Blatant, Shameless liars Jason Miller and Matt Whitaker Should Never Be Allowed On TV Again

I just listened to the go round on CNN, Anderson Cooper's show with two obvious and shameless liars, sleazeball Trump hired-liar Jason Miller and former federal prosecutor Matt Whitaker and have to say that they could stand as an example of people who a rational media wouldn't consider putting on camera.

It's painful to listen to these people who have been taught the Republican talk-over anyone who isn't lying technique that Kellyanne Conway and others have used in the media for decades now.

If you want to know how we arrived at the post-truth culture that can't even protect itself against obvious treason with foreign dictators, these kinds of professional liars being allowed on TV and radio are the way it happened.

If you don't see the likes of these two liars disappear from TV, you'll know the problem is still with us.

Mitch McConnell And The Other Republicans In The Senate Are Still Trying To Kill Us To Please Their Pathological Base

The degenerate Republican leadership in the Senate is putting pressure on Republicans who listen to their constituents to force them to support throwing millions of people off of healthcare by delaying their month long August vacation by two weeks.  Meanwhile such Senators as Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and, in fact, the rest will keep their ultra-gold health coverage paid for entirely by tax dollars, even as they do things like give themselves month-long vacations.

Cruz and Lee have a new plan out that they hope will clinch the deal for destroying the Affordable Care Act through that most deceptively used concepts, "choice".  Only the choices offered to people who can't afford what they offer are no choices.

Some Senators have already begun offering alternatives which could make it into the revised bill. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have an amendment which would let insurance companies sell any health insurance plan they wish as long as they also offer at least one plan that is compliant with all of the coverage mandates outlined in Obamacare.

That would allow insurers to offer plans that do not comply with ACA regulations, like providing so-called "essential health benefits," and would therefore provide less robust coverage and cost less. Critics say it will cause costs for people with pre-existing conditions who need more services to rise sharply, undermining protections in place for them.

In case anyone was wondering why people with disabilities have been taking the lead on fighting against this Republican effort, it's because it will literally kill them unless they are too rich to need such things as affordable health insurance.

And if you thought that there were reasonable Republicans on this, Chuck Grassley is more concerned about throwing that long promised bone to his party's psychotic base who love the idea of causing pain and killing poor people and people who are ill and in need of medical care.  Though apparently the polls are telling them that their last bill got only 17% support and even a lot of Republicans didn't like it.

The Republican Party has proven it is the enemy of the American People over and over again, this past seven months, as they have had total control of the country under Trump, a traitor to the country, has shown that it is too dangerous to allow to remain in power.

The alleged "moderates", starting on the pretty far right with Susan Collins, are afraid of the people represented in the 17% enough so they would vote to kill their own constituents if they thought they could do it and win their next election.  They are the swing vote on this, as the NPR story quoted above said, in the most delicate of ways,

GOP senators are already warning that failure to uphold their seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare could have reverberations with their base.

That is the game that the "moderates" have been playing all along, hoping that they could come up with the calculations to do something just appalling enough to appeal to the worst of their voters without killing or maiming or harming too many normal people to get them bad press and lose them votes.   There is no higher principle involved in this and certainly no morality.  Any bill that comes out of the Senate is going to kill people, their refusal to fully implement the Affordable Care Act already does.   There are people dying today because of Republican governors and legislatures in most of the states.

This effort by Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans is among the most pathological thing that has been done by the Congress in living memory, it is declaring war on the American People, a war which will end up with a body count which can and has been estimated which dwarfs the total number of Americans killed in Vietnam or Afghanistan.  This is an act of treason as certainly as the Trump crime family is being exposed as having committed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Trumps Confess to Conspiracy

De-Nazify The Police

I  hadn't seen the video of the policeman who dumped a woman with multiple sclerosis out of her wheelchair during a protest at Ohio Senator Rob Portman's office in Columbus before this morning.

A video posted to Facebook shows Alisa Grishman—a 35-year-old woman from Pittsburgh who suffers from multiple sclerosis among other ailments, as she explained in another video—being casually pushed out of her chair and onto the floor by an officer from the Columbus Police Department. According to people present, a second woman was pushed over in her scooter and others were pushed or thrown to the ground.

I'm so furious about policeman-thugs doing that and, apparently getting away with it without being summarily fired and arrested for assault that I had to calm down before I wrote this.

The police in this country who don't like being judged by this kind of behavior have to stop covering up for the thugs and fascists among them.  That cop should be in jail awaiting trial for a serious assault, this kind of behavior by the police should be considered a hate crime.  The police and their superiors who don't clamp down on police brutality and prosecute the guilty have no one to blame but themselves when people don't respect them or trust them.  The police unions have a big hand in that, this kind of thing makes me wonder if maybe they shouldn't be allowed to unionize.

I have a close family member in a wheelchair and if a cop ever did that to them,  I would do everything I could to expose him and to ruin his life.

Revolt Against The Spell-Shamers - A Sick Day Post

I've decided to intentionally stop using apostrophes for indicating the possessive case (that means showing when something belongs to someone or something, Simps).  It's stupid, based on a stupid idea some stuck-up dolts in England had in the long, lost past,  based on one of the dumbest ideas anyone ever had about the history of the English language by people who didn't know what they're talking about.  It's also something that is inconsistently done and by rules which, like almost all of those governing standard spelling, bizarrely irregular.

As the asshole who has been trying to spell-shame me loves to believe himself to be the "nothing sacred" type of sophisticated wise guy, it's so funny that he's such a stickler for one of the stupidest areas of conventional and meaningless piety there is, the artificial god of standardized English spelling.  Posing as an iconoclastic sophisticate, he's as prissy as a stereotyped schoolmarm from one of the crappy movies he's addicted to.

Well, most of us are de facto heretics against spelling convention.  I say take the same attitude June Havoc did when she started writing, don't worry about it, don't let it stop you from writing whatever you want to.  I'm in favor of everyone who wants to to write and to learn from looking at their thoughts on a page or on a screen.  I think we'd all be a lot better off if everyone took up the practice, no matter how bad they were with conventional spelling and the arcana of standard punctuation.   One of my great aunt  wrote letters which were not conventionally spelled but they're a lot more interesting than a lot of the ones by people who spelled according to Webster (or some of those of my relatives who used the Brit rules).

And I've decided to annoy the spelling monitors as much as I can.   Here's something I wrote about it ten years ago, before I started using my real name.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Response To A Gentle Commentator (optional reading)

Posted by olvlzl.

History of the genitive - you mean it's from the strong masculine OE? Or am I missing yet another fun folk legend?

I hate, hate, hate it when the idea of 'more phonetic English spelling' comes up, because people pronounce English words differently. Whose phonetics get the nod? For a lazy example, do those who say 'pe-pul' speak truer, better English than those who say pe(o-kind-of-like-a-stop)-pl? Or Peepl? And so forth. That's why it hasn't been settled, imho. Too many not-quite-dialects, and since we have a common form, no use screwing with it to the logical benefit of only-some.

That's not even starting on how it could suck to have even one altered Am.Eng. spelling, a British English spelling, a spelling adapted for South Asian Englishes that only fits one really, and so forth... okay, I'll stop.

Of course, as one of those visual-memoried individuals, I never really know what words people want changed in the first place. But then, I probably pronounce at least 96% of the letters I see.

Dear Painini, taking your concerns out of order. This website is an incomplete list of the many irregularities of Standard English Spelling. The site is impressive, though I know for a fact that there are more ways to spell some of the vowels, having come up with more spellings for long e one insomniac night. It also makes at least two untrue assertions. It hasn’t “been this way for a long time”. It’s been the way it is, in theory, for about two hundred years, with many if not most people using non-standard spellings the whole time. There is also no reason to just accept the absurdity, mastered by only a minority which has been allowed to tyrannize the rest of us who use the English language. Even the standard system has variants and has had modifications over the years. “Cooky” is how my first grade speller taught the word. Write it that way now and watch the response. Then show them that spelling in the dictionary and have a bit of innocent fun.

You are concerned that some of todays variant pronunciations of the English language would get left out of a reformed spelling. This is surprising since all of them are left out of the standard spelling systems now, both the British and the American. The pronunciations that control standard English spelling are those of people who have not uttered a single syllable for centuries, some have been silent for at least a millennium. To serve their long dead words the system is made impossible for the majority of people alive today.

You might notice that I support an attempt to make English spelling, “more nearly phonetic,” as no system of spelling in a natural language is exactly phonetic. I’d be satisfied with things like getting rid of unpronounced consonants, pitching such quaint antiquities as use of combinations such as -ough, -igh, ..., coming up with one standard spelling for roughly each of the long and short vowels and making the addition of grammatical suffixes regular. Putting any silent e as a sign of the long vowel either next to the pronounced vowel OR at the end of the syllable would be an immeasurable improvement. Just make a rule that once a silent e is put there, it stays there when the word goes on through inflection or compounding.

Choosing one, widely used pronunciation, coming up with a rational and phonetic spelling for it without the myriad of variant spellings we have now, would essentially solve the problem. For mercys sake, think of the children who have to waste their time and lose self-respect for the sake of of middle-aged, would be, etymologists’ vanity.

The alternative to spelling reform is to get used to the reestablishment of non-standard spelling. Those are the choices in spelling. As time wears on, it’s clear that standard spelling is being over run by the rabble. The choices in spending your time are either to get used to the reality that results when the last two centuries of class-based irrationality runs head long into a computer using population that isn’t going to be silent any longer, or to be continually upset that most people are not following the old religion.

As for your worries concerning my footnote about the use of the apostrophe in the English genitive case being based in “folk legend”, I refer you to page 291 of Albert C. Baughs “A History of the English Language,” 2nd edition:

... Until well into the eighteenth century people were troubled by the illogical consequences of this usage, Dr. Johnson (!) points out that one can hardly believe that the possessive ending is a contraction of his in such expression as a woman’s beauty or a virgin’s delicacy. He, himself seems to have been aware that its true source was the Old English genitive, but the error has left its trace in the apostrophe which we still retain as a graphic convenience to mark the possessive.

The error was thinking that the possessives ending in -s were a contraction of the word “his”. This an example of the foolishness of not simply writing a word as pronounced and attempting to weigh down what should be the helpful mechanics of spelling with an attempt at scholarship, showing off. In this case, as even Johnson managed to notice, the erudition was absolutely absurd, the product of rank ignorance. The results are an absurdity endowed with the force of conventional morality. Sinners who forget to place the erroneous apostrophe or who, in an overweening attempt to get it right, commit the sin of wasting one where the cannons of spelling do not place one, ... such heretics are to be cast out from respectable society.

am grateful for your forcing me to reread my old textbook after so many decades. It’s full of interesting insights into some of the folly of grammarians, would be experts on rhetoric etc. I recommend it if it is read in the spirit of generosity and with an open mind. I forgot that Joseph Priestly delved in the language controversies of his day. Got to get to the library soon.

In perfect seriousness, the written form of the language is one of the most powerful tools for looking at ones thoughts and the thoughts of other people. Which of us haven’t come up with clearer ideas while we look over what we’ve written? To have most English speakers alienated from this tool, rightfully theirs, by the dictate of the aristocrats of orthography, is an offense against democracy. It helps explain how the English Speaking People have put up with so much crap from their ruling classes and how easily some of them are manipulated. You take a kid who doesn’t have the knack of spelling and tell him from the earliest grades that he’s stupid, how do you expect him to think about people who think and write for a living?
Update:  "Too chickenshit to post my response to that? Quel surprise."

That was a response?  Too bull shit to post, Pas de surprise.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Guess What Else Happened on 6/19/16

Psalm 10 - Psalm In a Time of Trump

1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—
    let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
3 For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,
    those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
4 In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;
    all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5 Their ways prosper at all times;
    your judgments are on high, out of their sight;
    as for their foes, they scoff at them.
6 They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;
    throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”
7 Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
    under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.
8 They sit in ambush in the villages;
    in hiding places they murder the innocent.
Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9     they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor;
    they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
10 They stoop, they crouch,
    and the helpless fall by their might.
11 They think in their heart, “God has forgotten,
    he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
12 Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
    do not forget the oppressed.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God,
    and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?
14 But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
    that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
    you have been the helper of the orphan.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
    seek out their wickedness until you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
    the nations shall perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
    you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
18 to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
    so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

I think you'll find more useful ideas for resisting what created Trump in that than in your average Alternet or In These Times article.

Hate Mail

Simels deciding, after years of me calling him on his anti-Polish bigotry, that he is "half Polish" (I suspect someone at Baby Blue might have objected this time) reminds me of Noam Chomsky's reaction to Christopher Hitchens' claim that he was Jewish (which seems to have been news to his brother and others in his family).   As reported, Chomsky said, “From anti-Semite to self-hating Jew, all in one day.” 

The Country Is Run By Traitors Who Are Doing Nothing To Protect Us From Foreign Criminals Just As They Failed To Protect Us From Domestic Billionaires With Dictatorial Tendencies

His performance at the G20 has been such a total and scandalous spectacle of more than mere incompetence but real and dangerous mental debility that has been of a piece with Donald Trump's pathological performance as president and during his campaign.  He didn't fade under the pressures and challenges of the highest office in the United States government, he was a person who was obviously unqualified, by all of the reasons of incompetence, unfitness for the job and psychosis from before he announced his run.  He was our real-life Lord Buckethead who, under the British parliamentary system was only running for a seat from one riding.   I believe the theory of presidential governmental systems is that a nationally elected executive is supposed to make it unlikely one like Trump will get to run the country into the ground within a year.  But that all goes to hell if the media doesn't do what Jefferson and those other romantics believed it would also do, prevent people from being duped by such a psychotic or demonic figure.  As our system shows, that basic level or moral responsibility on the part of a press such as the one we have today, is pretty much dead here.  At least in the media that counts, terrifyingly enough, the entertainment divisions of the networks and the continual entertainment venues of the 24-7 alleged news cabloids.

That Donald Trump holds the presidency of the United States is far more than a Constitutional Crisis, it is an exposure of a crisis that has been there all along but which was just waiting for the right evil Russian billionaire genius to master our own vulnerabilities against us and for him.  Our own billionaires did quite well for themselves out of some of the same weak points of democracy even back when they were just millionaires.

Even now when two of those closest to trump,  his own son and namesake and his son-in-law appointed master of everything have been exposed as having colluded with agents of Putin, our system will not get rid of the malignancy of which such as Donnie jr. and Jared Kushner are major lesions but mere metastases of the thing which will kill us.  If you want to carry the analogy to its start, it was the media who created and promoted and enabled Trump during his entire public career, peddling him and his pathological corporate dictator image to the American public, successfully selling him to an effective margin of victory for him which was the carcinogen that made this happen.

And nothing is happening to prevent it in a basic and reliable way just as the regulatory and other measures to prevent another 2008 economic implosion were hardly a fix for that, just as even the more seriously needed post-Nixon crime wave reforms have not prevented, first the record indictment and conviction Reagan administration, the scandalous imposition by judicial putsch of George W. Bush and, now, Trump.

Someone,  I can't remember who, said that if Putin's attempt to game our laws and our system for his own ends hadn't worked this time, he and his crime associates would learn from what they did and they would make an attempt based on that the next time.   And if that's true, you can bet that they'll learn at least as much from their successes.  Their effort included manipulation of our news media as much as it did the insane practice of running our elections through computers and the internet.  If the DNC didn't learn the folly of putting anything out there on line where it could turn into another successful Putin-Assange opportunity - and I wonder if it has - it's clear that our federal, state and many local governments haven't even caught up to the disaster of 2000.  Nor do they much seem like they want to.

This is worse than a crisis of the American Constitution, this is a crisis for democracy, especially one based on a pre- information technology, 18th century constitution which has features that prevent its modernization.   Such a thing is an open invitation to the Putins of the world.  If he has been exposed as doing this, there is nothing to prevent other despots with resources from having a go at it, too.  Meanwhile our Constitution, our Supreme Court and our legislative branches, federal and state, diddle and delay and try to game it for partisan advantage - AND ALMOST ALL OF THAT IS DONE BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, THE PARTY WHICH GAVE US PUTIN.   Why bother holding elections if Vladimir Putin is going to end up running the United States through a proxy puppet?  Why elect people to congress and the Senate if they're going to not prevent that but try to use it for their gain?  We are all Russians, now.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Eric Dolphy - Naima

Jacky Bambou Percussion
Jaki Byard Composer
Donald Byrd Guest Artist, Trumpet
Nathan Davis Guest Artist, Sax (Tenor)
Jacques Diéval Guest Artist, Piano
Eric Dolphy Clarinet (Bass), Primary Artist, Sax (Alto)
Jacques Hess Bass

A great version of one of John Coltrane's most famous compositions.  I'm not exactly sure that all of the artists credited on the album played on this cut and would rather credit too many than too few. I've only listened to it once,  not having known about it before tonight.  It is obviously great on first hearing.

Hall Overton - Sonata for Viola and Piano

Walter Trampler, viola
Lucy Greene, piano

Another recording posted by the American Composers Alliance.  Walter Trampler was one of the finest viola players of his time.  Lucy Greene was obviously a fine pianist, as well.

When I started posting Hall Overton on the 4th I didn't intend to make it a series but his music is so good and so little known that I decided it really should be promoted.  Who knows, maybe they'll do an actual professional production of his opera, Huck Finn, which, the more I read about it, it sounds as if Overton made some changes in the story - aging Huck by three years, making it more about Jim's adult point of view than Huck's 13-year-old, white boy's thinking.  Frankly, those and the reported change to Mark Twain's pretty awful ending for what is otherwise a good book could likely improve the story.  And, considering it was done 45 years ago, it sounds like it would be so much fresher than that broadway musical they did to it.

Let's hope we get to hear it someday.

Just Bob And Ray [8]