Saturday, September 2, 2017

Confession: I Knew Simps Would Get His Knickers In A Twist If I Dissed The Movies. He hates it when someone disses the movies


  1. "I find that with audio drama, without the pictures the substance is denser than with movies"

    Holy shit -- radio doesn't have pictures?

    Here's a clue, numbnuts -- neither do novels or screenplays or stage scripts.
    1. Densest of all is your skull. It's so dense you should be The Wizard of Osmium.

      Neither do symphonic scores, algebra equations or dial tones. But I didn't mention those, either.

      You're really hard up for attention at Duncan's aren't you. Something tells me you've made yourself so obnoxious over there they're ignoring you so you're trying your hardest to get some attention here. Did your little piece of asininity above get you some over there? 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Caitríona Ní Mhurchú - Eating Seals and Seagull’s Eggs


To generations of Irish students Peig Sayers, is often an object of derision. Eating Seals and Seagull’s Eggs  is her story, largely.  Meet Peig Sayers as you have never  heard her before. 

Performed by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú  and Louise Lewis Other voices were: Michael James Ford, Janyce Condon, Donncha Crowley, Conor Madden and Pat Kinevane Sound Design was by Niall Toner Junior  and Les Keye With special thanks to Folklore department UCD for additional sound archive 

I didn't know anything about Peig Sayers before I listened to this.  It leaves me curious to find out more about her.  It's not an easy play.   I was surprised to realize it was only a little under 45 minutes long.  I find that with audio drama, without the pictures the substance is denser than with movies.

As usual with radio drama from RTÉ, you've got to download it to listen to it.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Nation As Putin Asset? As Trump Asset?

Well, well, The Nation magazine has walked back an article claiming that the Russians couldn't have been behind the hacks of the Democratic Party during the presidential campaign which contradicted The Nation's own expert on the issue.  They haven't, though,  withdrawn the article.

The Nation magazine acknowledged on Friday that an article claiming it would have been "impossible based on the data” for Russia-backed hackers to be behind the leak of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails was not supported by its own evidence.  

The article, penned by reporter Patrick Lawrence and published in early August, hinged on technical claims roundly disputed by technical experts — including the expert brought in by The Nation in its review of the article. 

“As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties," The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote in a lengthy editor's note added to the article...

... Despite acknowledging that the article’s central arguments that Russia could not have hacked the DNC are only “possibilities,” the magazine has not withdrawn the original article. 

“The most recent VIPS memo, released on July 24, whatever its technical merits, contributes to a much-needed critical discussion. Despite all the media coverage taking the veracity of the [intelligence-community assessment] for granted, even now we have only the uncorroborated assertion of intelligence officials to go on,” wrote vanden Heuvel. 

The Nation has, however, printed reports from its own technical expert, Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project, a response by the members of VIPS who disputed the original memo and a follow-up letter by other members of VIPS defending their original work.

Somewhere, I noted back during the campaign and afterward that The Nation had been one of the main sources on the supposed left in a tizzy about Democrats raising the roof about Russian hacking of the DNC, John Podesta's e-mail, etc.  shrieking about them starting "a new cold war" on behalf of the United States intelligence establishment, soft peddling Russian ratfucking of our election in order to aid the election of Donald Trump, notably in a series of articles by the Russian Studies (formerly a frequent media-consulted Sovietologist) Stephen F. Cohen, who happens to be Katrina vanden Heuvel's husband.

When you google Stephen F. Cohen, you're likely to get a page full of links to articles and media appearances in which he pooh-poohs the Russian interference in our election and is mighty eager to promote close relations between Trump and Putin.   It sort of makes you wonder what Cohen's relationship with Putin or his criminal regime might be, or why The Nation has taken the tone it has on this serious attack on egalitarian, representative democracy by a regime of billionaire gangsters on behalf of their counterparts in the United States.   It makes you wonder just what the hidden history behind that might be and how far back it might go.  There was a time I'd never have believed that there could be one but I'm certainly not sure of that, anymore, especially with their other coverage of the 2016 election.   I certainly don't trust them like I used to.

Just Found Out About It - I Was Saying Charlie Hebdo Was An A-Hole Before Saying Charlie Hebdo Was An A-Hole Was Cool

I'm sure there will be more to say about it later, but I was telling its instant fan base two years ago that the people who ran Charlie Hebdo were a bunch of assholes.  The current dust up about its cover celebrating the drowning of Houston, or, as the ignorant scum think Texas as drowning "Nazis" is produced by people who wouldn't care that a large number, probably a majority of those who are victims of the flooding are exactly the same groups targeted by American Nazis, Latinos, Black People, members of other ethnic minorities and many White People who are victims, now, of both American Nazis and Charlie Hebdo.  Nor that Harris County voted for Hillary Clinton, not Trump and it voted for Barack Obama both times.   

Charlie Hebdo is an awful, unfunny bigoted rag run by ignorant, chauvinistic bigots who couldn't possibly care less about who gets hurt as long as they sell their toilet paper publication.  

Update:  This says that the grim and rising death count was at 40 when it was published, I can't bring myself to keep up with that.  That's what Charlie Hebdo was celebrating on its cover.   I wonder if PEN is reconsidering the honors they bestowed on the shitrag when 10 of their people got killed .

What Happens When He Moves His Lips And Presses The Keys - Hate Mail

Well, there you go, believing anything Simels says without verification is a stupid thing to do.  I never said that people who went to the Ivys - the boys he goes so ga-ga over, like a bobby-soxer hired to scream at and chase after the young Frank Sinatra - should never hold public office.  I said they were absurdly and ridiculously and harmfully dominating the Supreme Court and, in recent decades, the presidency and other elected offices.  I said that they were vastly over-represented in the "expert" and pundit class as seen on TV and heard on the radio and as published by newspapers and magazines.

I advocate a moratorium on nominating Ivy Leaguers and might-as-well-be Ivy Leaguers from other elite, private universities and college because there is a prevalent mindset found among such people which is harmful to democracy.  I've been through that over and over again, in posts which Simps pretends to have read but even when exposed to a reasoned argument, he can't help himself from misrepresenting it into something that his lazy attention-deficient mind can deal with and which matches the limited set of prejudices he rearranges in lieu of thought.  There's a lot of that over at Duncan's cotillion and dinner club.  I especially advocate that moratorium for the Supreme Court from which Ivy Leaguers have done so much to prevent equality and democracy over the history of that court.  I don't think the Democratic Party should have another Ivy Leaguer as its nominee, though not as a hard and fast rule, it's just they haven't done so well for us, even when they win.

I do, though, absolutely think that it should be a matter of Democratic Party policy and national law that the Secretary of Education must, themselves, be the product of public education including the university level and that their children should have attended public schools.  Preferably including the university level.  The prep-Ivy class doesn't get public education, at all, with the fewest possible exceptions to that rule.

Simps just can't stand it when someone disses the elite.  He reminds me of the mother in Jules Feiffer's play "Grown Ups" who can't stop bragging about her sonny boy who works for the New Stinking York Times even as he himself, knows how unimpressive that is.   Imagine how Simps would be if he had an actual connection to the Ivy League class.  He's a fame fucker and a lazy assed social climber and snob.  That's all there is to it.  There are lots of those around on the alleged left.

Update:  2 Comments 

      1. "I never said that people who went to the Ivys - the boys he goes so ga-ga over, like a bobby-soxer hired to scream at and chase after the young Frank Sinatra - should never hold public office. I said they were absurdly and ridiculously and harmfully dominating the Supreme Court and, in recent decades, the presidency and other elected offices. I said that they were vastly over-represented in the "expert" and pundit class as seen on TV and heard on the radio and as published by newspapers and magazines."

        So, in other words, everything I fucking said you said you actually said.

        Seriously, McCarthy -- do you not know what words in English actually mean? Or else are you just the biggest liar on the planet?

        Not that makes a difference, but still -- it would be interesting to know.


        1. I went and found what I was told about at Eschaton

          Stëve Sïmels, blog malignancy stoat 5 hours ago
          I believe it was That Idiot From Maine© who said that nobody who went to an Ivy League school should be allowed to hold elected office any more.
          On the theory that assholes like Newt Gingrich were more qualified to govern us.

          I meant it Simps, you should be checked for senility, like Trump should.
      Here's the link.   See what I meant? 

It Didn't Start From Me Wanting To Diss Chuck It Was About A Missing Link Found - Hate Mail

Ah, no, dear, "Darwin's theory" is not evolution, it is a. natural selection, b. common descent of all species from a common ancestor.  

The first is something I've come to reject because it's too vaguely defined, proposed to mean too many different "things" some of which may not be real things but are the products of ideologically informed imagination, a theory too often modified to maintain a coherent idea and which has, over and over again, produced depraved results in the human population.  

The second I believe in quite strongly, though the farther you get back in time the less evidence there is for it.  I think the work of Lynn Margulis and others comes up with some good reasons to suspect there might, might, have been different organisms which combined and which may not have had a common ancestry*, though that is, also, unevidenced.  Since I doubt it will occur to you, someone who believes in common descent of species obviously also believes in evolution, even if they don't believe in natural selection.  Notably, Schaaffhausen doesn't seem to have believed in the second one even as Darwin cited him in support of natural selection in a way that would depend on him also having to believe in common descent for Darwin's argument to work.  I have read, though I have not actually read about it,  Schaaffhausen came up with a theory of evolution before Darwin published On the Origin of Species, so he obviously believed in evolution.  

I know it's a bit an issue a bit more complex than is presented in PBS and BBC costume dramas about the life and work of St. Charles Darwin, but, considering your super-hero was advocating ideas that were rather completely adopted by Nazis, those defeated in 1945 and those which persisted and arose after the war, it's a rather important and serious issue, an issue on full display in Charlottesville,  Virginia a few weekends back.   That my dissing St. Chuck makes you have a sad day is no reason to stop pointing it out.  As it is, I was answering Daniel, who gave me the link I'd been looking for for more than four years.  I think that deserved an answer. 

*  I think if life arose more than once on the early Earth and that different surviving lines of life converged to produce eukaryotic cells and multi-cellular organisms had that level of compatibility, that the probability of that happening by random chance just becomes unbelievably improbable and something which is justifiably considered superstition.  Which I know atheists just hate the idea of, evolution being, for them, primarily an ideological weapon to kill off God, not science.   Including, I suspect, some of the scientists engaged in that line of speculation.  I'd think it would be better for the science if those kinds of uses of it were not in the mix. 

Update:  Bah, I've got beans to freeze and sauerkraut to make. I've said as much as I'm going to, today. 

Update 2:  Sorry, forgot to answer this.  I have stopped with the pretense that anyone who has any position about science "knows" its truth, they believe it.   The phony separation between areas of though into "knowledge" and "belief" is a pretense that what is known is adopted through some involuntary act on the basis of pure reason.  It isn't, it is dependent on choices just as belief is.  What is lost in hubris and arrogance by giving up that phony distinction is more than made up in the virtues of humility and whatever impediment that uncertainty gives people when they want to use what they claim to know to do bad things.   As the great, late Joseph Weizenbaum said:

The man in the street surely believes such scientific facts to be well-established, as well-proven, as his own existence.  His certitude is an illusion.  Nor is the scientist himself immune to the same illusion.  In his praxis he must, after all, suspend disbelief in order to do or think anything at all.  He is rather like a theatergoer, who, in order to participate in and understand what is happening on the stage, must for a time pretend to himself that he is witnessing real events.  The scientist must believe his working hypothesis, together with its vast underlying structure of theories and assumptions, even if only for the sake of the argument.  Often the "argument" extends over his entire lifetime.  Gradually he becomes what he at first merely pretended to be:  a true believer.  

You can read more of it here

Senator John Danforth, You're Reaping What You Sowed, The Whirlwind And You're Being A Hypocrite About It

Former Senator John Danforth (R-Missouri) is going around telling his fellow Republicans that they have to distance themselves from Donald Trump or the party is going to suffer the consequences.  When told about that I started looking around and found that he was on Lawrence O'Donnell's program with the same message - I hadn't before thought of a bass voice bleating, but that's what Danforth is doing, bleating like a scared lamb.  Danforth is saying that now is the time for all decent Republicans to come to the aid of his party, only as O'Donnell pointed out, by a very large percent, Republicans, this far into the criminally insane Trump regime, support Donald Trump. 

In the course of the interview Danforth managed to blame Democrats, Trumps opponents, the American people in general for what his party has produced, though as O'Donnel also pointed out, the American People, in general, DON'T support Trump or his hateful policies.  I will remind you, Senator John Danforth, as O'Donnell pointed out, is an ordained Episcopal Priest as well as a lawyer, a Princeton-Yale product.  He is also the man who, in his great judgement and gravitas, did so much to put Clarence Thomas, with whom he had a professional relationship, on the Supreme Court.  His behavior, especially around the smearing of Anita Hill, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings convinced me he was a fraud, both in terms of integrity and wisdom and, frankly, honesty.   I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him from where I am sitting as I type this. 

If John Danforth wants to find someone to blame for Donald Trump he could find one of them every time he looks in the mirror.  As a resident of Maine, a state which produced several of the same species, the "moderate" Republican, the "reasonable, principled, 'good'" Republican, they're as part of the corruption that the Trump regime is enacting as anyone else.  They're just better in the up-market media.  During his appearance on O'Donnell's show, Danforth managed in his list of those to blame for Trump, even the opponents of inequality, using the Republican buzz-words "identity politics" in assigning blame to the very people who opposed Trump and against whom Trump has campaigned.  Clearly, that's common ground between Trump and Senator John Danforth as, indeed, it is for most of the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate, Republican governors, Republican legislators and on-air talking heads.   The man is a more genteel, more covert specimen of exactly what he now decries from the editorial page of the New York Times and in front of TV cameras and radio mics. 

Did Darwin Lie About What Schaaffhausen Said: Redux

Four years ago, while intensively researching the issues of Darwinism and eugenics and, as I found the connections between Darwinism and genocide, I came across a puzzle that led me to ask if, in one of the most infamously putrid passages of The Descent of Man might have misrepresented the famous biologist, Herman Schaaffhausen, mostly associated with the discovery of Neanderthals as an early species of hominids.   I'd looked for the citation Darwin gave to support some of his claims. The infamous passage, itself, wasn't what led me to ask the question, it was the use which Darwin made of what was, beyond any rational possibility of denial, exactly the same argument that Nazis gave as their reason for genocide.   After shifting through a PDF of the publications of the Anthropological Review, I couldn't find anything that corresponded to what Darwin Referred to, I did, though, in a later issue of the same magazine, find something which proved that, far from Schaaffhausen arguing for a common ancestry of human beings and the apes, he didn't believe in that common ancestry at all, so Darwin's use of his argument to support a common ancestry was dishonest.

I will give the entire paragraph in question, from The Descent of Man and the one which follows it.

The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, convinced by general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks incessantly occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridæ—between the elephant and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and other mammals. But all these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. 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 will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

With respect to the absence of fossil remains, serving to connect man with his ape-like progenitors, no one will lay much stress on this fact, who will read Sir C. Lyell’s discussion, in which he shews that in all the vertebrate classes the discovery of fossil remains has been an extremely slow and fortuitous process. Nor should it be forgotten that those regions which are the most likely to afford remains connecting man with some extinct ape-like creature, have not as yet been searched by geologists.

The part which is most controversial today is what I underlined, the part in which, as part of his argument that human beings are related to the apes through common ancestors [something which is uncontroversial, at least to those of us who believe in the theory of common descent] he casually predicted a time "not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races," and that the results would be that the murderer-survivors would be "man in a more civilsed state" "as we may hope," etc.  Naming two groups who were, no doubt, on his list of the to be exterminated "savage races", "the negro" and "Australian" - he didn't mean Mel Gibson, he is the white descendant of Darwin's "man in a more civilised state," the superior murdering race of the to be exterminated Australians.*   The only difference between that and Nazi biological theory was that they named European "races" to their hit list who were not explicitly on Darwin's, though, throughout the book, he's not shy about naming groups of people he claimed were inferior, mostly not white, except for, as I recall, the Turkish people and the Irish.   To be named a member of an inferior group by Darwin was him putting a target put on you, your family and all others like you.  That is what eugenics in all of its forms is all about.  Getting rid of you, cutting you off from the future, holding that your elimination will be beneficial to those getting rid of you.

That passage is exactly the scientific-ideological racism that Nazism adopted and put into effect just as, beyond any possible honest and rational doubt, the eugenics of Galton, Schallmeyer, Ploetz and others was a different means of doing the same thing, removing those deemed unfit or inferior or, as Darwin often put it, "savage" instead of "civilised" from the future of the human species.  And the groups specified as such by name, by Darwin and his disciples, make it certain that white, Northern, Europeans minus the Irish were his imagined "civilised" survivor race who would murder the "savage" and own the Earth.   That is, actually, the most important thing about the passage, why it is so often excerpted from the paragraphs and Darwin's argument.

But that wasn't why I asked if he had lied about or, at least, misrepresented the opinion of Herman Schaaffhausen.  I based that on a paper of Schaaffhausen which was cited in a later edition of the same journal Darwin cited in which Schaaffhauen rejected Darwin's theory of common ancestry. With that, Darwin's use of what Schaaffhausen is alleged to have said, in the Descent of Man became incoherent and contradictory.

The other night, while moderating comments, I found someone named  had produced the passage I hadn't been able to find.

I think that this is the wrong Schaafhausen. There's a write up in the Anthropological Review on the page that Darwin cites that refers to an "M. Schaafhausen of Bonn" that says this:

"In the present state of things, the distance between man and the animal increases under our own eye. Not merely the human races standing lowest in the scale, and presenting in their organisation many resemblances to animal forms, are gradually becoming extinct, but the superior apes approaching nearest to man become more rare from century to century; and will, perhaps, in a few centuries have entirely disappeared. What is there illogical in the idea that thousands of years back the distance between the lowest man and the highest ape was less than at present, and that it would still lessen the more we ascend the past?"

It's available on JSTOR here:

After four years of having that question hanging, I'm grateful to Daniel for providing that link.

I answered that Hermann Schaaffhausen taught at the University of Bonn so there is little question that it's the right Schaaffhausen in both cases, and I read the article at the link.  The first thing I will note is that, in fact, Schaaffhausen's rejection of Darwin's theory of common descent was commented on in the very article that Darwin cited, and, I'll note that what was published in the Anthropological Review doesn't seem to be the original article by Schaaffhausen but notes on its reading in translation and the discussion that happened at The Paris Anthropological Society,

M. Broca [I believe the still quite famous Paul Broca] is of the opinion that M. Gratiolet had misunderstood the ideas of M. Schaafhausen, who, far from supporting the theory of Darwin, on the contrary, commenced by refuting the opinions of Mr. Huxley.  M. Schaafhausen is apparently a partisan of animal series, but there is no no necessary connection between this and Darwin's theory.

It may be admitted that all families, genera, species, form a continuous scale without necessarily admitting that the higher species are by a progressive evolution issued from the lower.  Darwin's theory is a bold attempt to explain the existence of this series.  It is the interpretation of a fact, and, whilst accepting the fact, we may reject the interpretation which is probably M. Schaafhausen's stand-point.  The views communicated to the Society by M. Schaafhausen are both new and important. He shows that man is at present constantly engaged in the extermination of species which dispute his possession of the soil, and that he was so engaged in the past.  We know that the superior human races tend to increase at the expense of the inferior races,some of which disappear, and others must have disappeared within historical times, some will disappear and others must nave disappeared in the most remote periods.  May, then, asks M. Schaafhausen, this destructive intervention of man not have contributed to enlarge the interval separating man from the group of anthropoid apes?  He is of the opinion that the interval was less originally than at present, and is less at present than it will be be in times to come.  The last opinion is very probable; the former is less so, for even if it were demonstrated, the question still would remain whether the intermediate types which disappeared sufficiently differed from such now limiting the two groups, sensibly to diminish the distance.  At all events, the ingenious idea of M. Schaafhausen deserved serious consideration.

Which, to us, today, who are so used to thinking about these things on the basis of common descent, any theory which both asserts there was no common ancestor of the species in common but also that degree of anatomical similarity, is rather hard to wrap our minds around.  My question was motivated by asking how, if as Schaaffhausen believed, there was no common ancestor, there could be a link of the kind that Darwin was asserting by using what Schaaffhausen said, putting Schaaffhausen to use in advocating an even worse thing, his far more morally consequential theory of the eugenically beneficial practice of genocide, crowning the murderer-survivors with the promise of an enhanced state of "civilisation" than even his already elevated "caucasian" race had in 1872.

As someone as informed as Paul Broca noted that there was a serious confusion as to what Schaaffhausen believed in 1867 so I do feel vindicated in having noticed that same problem in 2013.  Given the entire contents of the article cited by Darwin, in which it was noted that Schaaffhausen had rejected that aspect of Darwin's theory and his closest British colleague, Thomas Huxley's application of it, his use of it as he did is hardly honest.  That, as I also noted in 2013, Darwin's citation seems to have attributed his eugenic genocide to Schaaffhausen, the ambiguity of his citation needed to be clarified.  That would require access to the original, untranslated article by Hermann Schaaffhausen, which I don't have.  I wouldn't think that an English translation of a translation of it given in Paris would be reliable.  But there is no question of the use that Darwin made of it and what he advocated by way of mass murder in a casual aside.. I have been struck at how often those kinds of things are said among the advocates of the theory of natural selection.

*  There is no doubt as to Darwin putting the original inhabitants of Australia on his hit list, he put the already murdered Tasmanians on it and, in other places, names them as doomed as, indeed, he did other human populations in the Pacific ocean, the Americas and other places of European imperial rule.  Of European and nearly European populations he fingered as inferior were, unsurprisingly, the Irish and the Turkish people.  And, of course, the white, European group whose survival he asserted was the greatest danger to his imagined future, the British poor and disabled and ill.  Are these lists sounding like a more recent one you might have read?

Anyone today whose ancestors were on Darwin's hit list, his list of those irredeemably degenerate due to their biological ancestry, even those who work in science and promote his legendary status, have every reason to reject his theory due to the extreme and pathological racism, his ethnic and class bigotry which has proved to be an inherent and inescapable feature of it.  If Nazism was a test in time of the results to be expected of the eugenic aspects of the theory of Natural Selection, proper, then the resurgence of scientific racism and more quaintly stated eugenics in the post-war period - which, as I've shown is being used by currently active Nazis - is proof that such racism will always be generated by a belief in it.  The Sociobiology Study Group got that right but they didn't go nearly far enough, it is the theory of Natural Selection which will always generate eugenics and scientific racism because, born in Malthusian theory and inevitably asserting the superiority of the killers over those killed, it is an inherent and intrinsic aspect of it and it always will be until it is succeeded by other theories and sent to the boneyard of discontinued science.  Pretending it is anything other than it is will put off that, one hopes, to be hoped for day.  Though there is no guarantee that any successor theory will not have its own amorally evil content and results.  Human decency depends on other things which science cannot find, as does our survival.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Could Trump Try to Pardon… Everyone?

Nicholas Maw - Music of Memory

Thomas Csaba, guitar

I don't care what anyone says, the current generation of classical guitarists and guitar composers are the best in the history of the instrument.  They might stand on the shoulders of previous generations but they're really great.

Update:  Curtis Curtis-Smith - Evocation After ‘Gold Are My Flowers’

The late Curtis Curtis-Smith was one of the most underrated of American composers.  This is a masterpiece.   It is based on a really great song cycle by him.

I Am Exhausted So I'll Post Later - A Few Short Items

Someone online just told me in a condescending manner that protractors are old hat.  I guess that would be because no one uses angles anymore.  

I clicked on something at Youtube and was surprised to find that it's a review of butt plugs.  Now, I think it's insane to shove anything up your butt - though if you must it's better to use something that's not going to give you an STD or to pass on any you might have.  But the reason I'm telling you this is because the video that came up first in the side bar was Sarah Huckabee Sanders lying for Trumpler. Which struck me as appropriate. 

I'll add more as the day goes on.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Would Impeaching Trump Truly Lead to Civil War?

Manufactured Controversy Over Wives Is An Old Repulbican Tactic

I don't remember which ridiculous style in womens shoes it was but it was from some time in the 1970s or early 80s that, to not put to fine a point on it, one of my lesbian friends called "fuck me shoes".  I'm sure the heels were ridiculous, whatever the fad was. 

Now, apparently, the media are trying to kick up a controversy over the ridiculous stiletto heels that Melania Trump wore to get on the plane to Texas the other day, I suspect for the same reasons that Lindsay Graham and Mrs. Alito staged a crying jag during her husband's disgusting performance in his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court.   From what I've seen, it was raised by the media mostly so pro-Trump, official and New York Times style, can hiss disapproval over people who might snark about her stupid shoes.  There should be a name for that kind of thing because it's quite commonly done for Republicans in trouble.  

Melania Trump is someone who I go from thinking is more to be pitied than censured to thinking is probably a Put-viet mole under deep cover.   Her stupid choices in clothing, makeup, foot ware are hers.  I wouldn't be surprised, though, if the controversy were planned.  I wondered the same thing about the ridiculous clothes, such as the "diaper dress" that Nancy Reagan got flack from when she wore them on a state visit to France   I suspect her stilettos were more "fuck you shoes" than those my friend named back in the day.  Someone who spends that long on her makeup and costumes wouldn't have misunderstood the message that those carried.  

I think the best thing to do with Melania Trump is to pretend she isn't there.  That is unless there is some criminal activity that is uncovered.   

The New York Times Wants To Set Up The War Criminal Erik Prince As Regent of Afghanistan

For anyone who thinks that the New York Times, its editors, its publisher, the goddamned Sulzberger family and many of its writers and, especially, its editorial page writers are anything but a bunch of pimps for plutocracy should consider the fact that they gave war criminal Erik Prince space to advertise the idea of making him Regent of Afghanistan, giving his criminal private army what will become, no doubt, a free hand in establishing his control of the country.   It doesn't say that but that's what it means. 

The New York Times, the Great Gray Drab which did perhaps as much to get Trump elected through its smear job against Hillary Clinton for the past quarter of a century is and has been one of the biggest frauds in real terms of those institutions which are supposed to be buttresses of liberal democracy.   It is now an institution which, if you suspect it has gone as low as it can go, is about to go lower than that.  

This is the kind of thing which the United States broke away from Britain for, that the fucking New York Times can have that kind of piece in it in 2017 shows what a lie that has been, the pretense of the United States being better than that, just one of the many aspirations, like equal justice under the law, the equal endowment with rights, the moral responsibility to respect those, which the rich, the powerful and the media that is owned by the rich, like the Sulzbergers will always do their best to ensure it is just one more of those dreams of democracy to be perpetually deferred.

In the past I might have given a link to the atrocity, but my policy is that I don't give links to people trying to turn the United States into a plutocratic fascist state.   

The Outrage That Is Osteen And The Pretense That Lawyers Can't Understand What A Decent Seven Year Old Can

RMJ has had some of the best blogging on the flooding from hurricane Harvey because he's there.  I haven't said much about it because all I know is what I'm reading in the news and hearing on the internet, so I defer to people who know what is going on.   

His piece about the whited sepulcher, Joel Osteen, who is screwing unto others as he would never want to be screwed unto, is essential reading.   

Among other idiocies in the First Amendment is that such outfits which are obviously not religions but profit making shake downs of the deluded, the vulnerable and the suckered are, for legal fiction, religion and so benefitted by the 2nd if not 3rd fate tarnished silver-age poetry of the 18th century Constitution and subsequent tax and other law, cannot be reliably or safely distinguished from real religious congregations and institutions which engage in and promote charity and charitable behavior, the only ones for which there is any excuse in public good so as to allow such provisions in the law.  

We've let our layers, our judges, our justices and the law schools and law firms off the hook.  Such distinctions as anyone with any sense of decency and honesty can make with ease, they, with their legal educations, most of the most influential from the most elite and prestigious universities in the country, pretend can't be made.  

No pseudo-religious outfit that behaves in such a crisis the way Osteen's has should continue to be classified as a religion and should lose all of the privileges granted to businesses under the Constitution even as alleged journalists and media venues who lie in promotion of inequality and so attack democracy should lose their classification as "press" under the law.  If our legal system is too stupid to make such distinctions with honest reliability, we need to replace it with professionals who are honest and intelligent enough to do that. 

In lieu of that, I would recommend giving your donations of money to the organizations and people really making the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel real, in real life, in Texas, Louisiana and other places of disaster, not the liars and hucksters and profiteers.   I'd send money to that mattress store baron who has done the right thing over the hallelujah peddling fraudsters.   At the very least "religious" outfits should be expected to meet that level of credibility.  

Update:  When I wrote this morning, I hadn't known that exactly that passage,  Matthew 23: 27-32 was the Gospel in today's Catholic liturgy.  It's even more appropriate than I'd remembered. 

Jesus said,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,  but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'

Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Trump’s Trip to Texas Revealed

If You Give Money To the ACLU You Are Aiding Nazis, the KKK, the Gun Industry and The Billionaire Boys Club Oligarchs

I don't take back anything I said about the ACLU enabling Nazis in America, their ability to convert people to their diseased paranoid, racist psychotic ideology which is all about murdering people in the hundreds of millions, in the billions, with a history of violence here, inspired by their speech, their short-wave radio and podcast transmissions, their publications - the Turner Diaries - the how-to book of murdering and terrorizing to incite the Nazis hoped for repeat of Germany c. 1933-45 will many more billions dead and no United States to join with allies to defeat it, next time.

The idiotic idea that there is anything necessary or good in allowing Nazis to make "Never Again" into an empty slogan instead of the hard and fast line in history that it must be is the ideological shtick that the ACLU has had since I can remember knowing what it was.  The idiotic idea that Nazism, and I include its domestic equivalents in things like the KKK because they really are the same thing, should or must or it would be a nice founderly gesture to allow them to have their fair chance to try to win power and do it all over again, is exactly that, an idiotic idea.

Any judge or Supreme Court justice who claims that they can't safely and reliably distinguish between Nazis and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Civil Rights movement, the peace movement, normal egalitarian democratic movements of varying viewpoint should be sent to the rest home for dotty lawyers because anyone who can't do that is too stupid to have power or control of their finances.  Any lawyer who can write a brief who claims they can't do that is too stupid to have a law license.   Any alleged "civil liberties" group that pretends it's in some way dangerous to ban Nazis, Fascists, the KKK, groups that call for violently overturning egalitarian democracy, and, yes, Stalinists, Maoists, other assorted red-fasicts with their own record of murdering tens of millions of people should be laughed out of court and out of serious consideration because they have foreited the right to being taken seriously.  With the continuing antics of the ACLU in that area, in the area of aiding the Billionaire Boys Club in another anti-democratic and probably even more dangerous line of propaganda, with their janus-faced gun advocacy, etc. they crossed that line in about 1977.

The cases they do that are construed as "liberal" are exactly like a little boy sticking his finger in one hole in a dike while he drills holes in the dike with his other hand, or, rather, blows holes in it.   The Nazis they represented in Charlottesville used a car to kill and maim and terrorize, their belated change of position about representing Nazis who will carry guns - DO THOSE IDIOT LAWYERS BELIEVE THE NAZIS ARE GOING TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT? - is like the little boy covering his ass with tissue paper.   Wet tissue paper.   To hell with them.

Update:  And right on time, I just got a tip on this.

‘Day of the rope is coming’: Black church terrorized by Nazi and KKK threats of lynching

You're Not My Peer, Punk So Don't Bother With The Jr. High Peer Pressure

Simps is trying to make me feel awkward because I still use an mp3 player.   I've still got several of them, I don't feel any inclination to get rid of them because someone came up with some flashy new toys to waste my money on. I've still got a cheap generic, portable disc player, too.   It works fine.  

I got out of jr. high a long time ago.  I'm not an anxious, insecure fashion slave.  Or, to put it plainly, a chump.  

Update:  Chump says what?

The Radio Just Told Me That Trump Might Raise His Poll Numbers By Showing Leadership In the Hurricane Harvey Disaster

I was just listening to NPRs Morning Edition show and am left wondering if there is any more cynical venue of media this side of Breitbart?   I was just listening to one of their reporters talking about what an opportunity hurricane Harvey is for Trump to raise his poll numbers by showing a pose of leadership, something which he has showed the opposite of from the start of his public life. It's such a stupid thing to say that I'm sure even the jerks in the discussion know that is never going to happen. 

I'm old enough to remember when non-profit radio was considered an alternative to the banality of commercial radio.  Then they got the bright idea of putting many local and college based efforts under some kind of united umbrella.  Between Republicans threatening their government funding and their internal selling out to corporate underwriters and other sell-outs, it is another of those phony, supposedly liberal entities that is about as deadly damaging to liberal morality as any but with the phony retained identity as an alternative to the supposedly cynical, amoral commercial media. 

Among the things I once thought I'd never have said before, it would be a good thing if NPR got defunded and died. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

For Whom Has Trump Made America Great?

History Needs Someone To Come Up With A Compendium Of Atheist Anti-Semitism, Racism, etc. Because They've Done One Of Christians

It has got to be one of the stupidest habits of thought that equates trying to understand how people do the bad things they do with excusing what they did.  I didn't post that complex article tracing the motives of Martin Luther and others in their anti-Semitic activities and those Lutherans, especially the Pietists of following centuries to deemphasize his anti-Semitic rants by noting his less unhinged writings about Jews to excuse anything, I posted them to understand that the history between Luther and the Nazis is hardly uniform and hardly able to produce the kind of aphoristic, slogan based substitute for reality that is so popular with the atheists.

If someone hasn't done it yet, someone should list other traditions that have a basis in anti-Semitism. For example, it is entirely possible and probably far more useful to note the many, many atheists whose anti-Semitism is as bad as the worst that Martin Luther produced but without the problematic features of Christian anti-Semitism because atheism doesn't have, at its very definitional foundation, Jesus, a Jew, Paul, a Jew, all of the major characters of the Second Testament, all Jews, the entire Jewish First Testament in which all of the substance is Jewish.  Martin Luther translated and introduced more of the thinking and moral substance of Judaism into German, probably, than any single other German in history.  You can't say the same thing for atheist anti-Semites whose anti-Semitism would wipe away all of that and who deny and ridicule its value and who smear the entire Jewish religious identity in terms at least as bad as any Christians have come up with.  And they also reject the idea that anyone should repent of doing that.

Karl Marx wrote a particularly awful anti-Semitic tract, "On the Jewish Question" early in his career, and, unlike Martin Luther, there doesn't seem to have been much other substance in his career as a writer, a propagandist, a journalist and a scholar for an alternative to it within Marxism to be supported with.  Michael Ezra in an article posted at The Philosophers Magazine said:

In a review of the recently published book, Antisemitic Myths: A Historical and Contemporary Anthology, edited by Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer, David Hirsh has argued that it is a “standard misreading” of Marx to say that “Marx was an antisemite.” With this, he concurs with Robert Fine, who attempted to “explode the myth” of Marx’s antisemitism. As far as Professor Fine is concerned, those who believe this “myth” have an “inability” to read Marx or comprehend Marx’s “ironic style” of writing.

What truth is there in this argument? Marx’s essay, On the Jewish Question, originally published in 1844 contains the following:

What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.…. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.

Marx argues that, “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” Larry Ray explains, “Marx’s position is essentially an assimilationist one in which there is no room within emancipated humanity for Jews as a separate ethnic or cultural identity.” Dennis Fischman puts it, “Jews, Marx seems to be saying, can only become free when, as Jews, they no longer exist.”

And as he shows in the article he shows that the writing of Marx could more than match the things Martin Luther, at his worst, wrote:

When considering Marx and his views towards Jews, one must go further than his infamous essay, his correspondence also needs to be considered. Marx used the Bambergers to borrow money but showed contempt for them. In a derogatory fashion he referred to the father and son as “Jew Bamberger” or “little Jew Bamberger.” Similarly, Spielmann, whose name appears frequently in correspondence between Marx and Engels was referred to as “Jew Spielmann.” When on holiday in Ramsgate in 1879, Marx reported to Engels that the resort contained “many Jews and fleas.” In an earlier letter to Engels, Marx referred to Ferdinand Lassalle as a “Jewish nigger.” Professor Fine has not discussed this but I do not see such comments as “witty” or “ironic,” they are simply racist.*

And in an article he wrote about "The Russian Loan" for the New York Herald Tribune:

Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew, as is every pope by a Jesuit. In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets.

… the real work is done by the Jews, and can only be done by them, as they monopolize the machinery of the loanmongering mysteries by concentrating their energies upon the barter trade in securities… Here and there and everywhere that a little capital courts investment, there is ever one of these little Jews ready to make a little suggestion or place a little bit of a loan. The smartest highwayman in the Abruzzi is not better posted up about the locale of the hard cash in a traveler’s valise or pocket than those Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a trader… The language spoken smells strongly of Babel, and the perfume which otherwise pervades the place is by no means of a choice kind.

… Thus do these loans, which are a curse to the people, a ruin to the holders, and a danger to the governments, become a blessing to the houses of the children of Judah. This Jew organization of loan-mongers is as dangerous to the people as the aristocratic organization of landowners… The fortunes amassed by these loan-mongers are immense, but the wrongs and sufferings thus entailed on the people and the encouragement thus afforded to their oppressors still remain to be told.

… The fact that 1855 years ago Christ drove the Jewish moneychangers out of the temple, and that the moneychangers of our age enlisted on the side of tyranny happen again chiefly to be Jews, is perhaps no more than a historical coincidence. The loan-mongering Jews of Europe do only on a larger and more obnoxious scale what many others do on one smaller and less significant. But it is only because the Jews are so strong that it is timely and expedient to expose and stigmatize their organization.

Which sounds like quite a bit of the Nazi anti-Semitic literature and I'll bet you could pass off as an introduction to the infamous, spurious, Protocols of the Elders of Zion but which I never, ever came across in my reading of by and for Marxists in my entire life of reading Marxists and lefty apologists for Marxism and those who have an affection for it.

You certainly can't claim that Marx and Engels anti-Semitism is a product of Christianity, though, as can be seen in the last passage, the atheists aren't above using a crude, common misunderstanding of a Gospel passage to promote their anti-Christian anti-Semitism.  You can do such things easily when you don't believe it is a sin to lie and deceive.

And this is just one instance of atheist anti-Semitism, especially if, as some of those quoted in the article include anti-Semitism to mean people who want Jews to disappear by assimilation, something which is happening in secular societies which promote religious hostility and religious indifference.  I do, though, say there is all the difference in the world between those who, out of a misunderstanding of the Gospels, want all Jews to convert to Christianity and to give up their distinct and defining religious traditions and those who out of a clear understanding of Darwinism identify Jews as an inferior biological group who pose a biological danger to their idea of the master race of the future and so, with other groups so defined, must all be murdered.  Marx certainly didn't believe that any more than Martin Luther did, both of them came to have a similar hatred of religious Judaism and both took up the same strain of extreme hatred of Jews who remained unassimilated.

Remember this the next time you read some online rant or comment on a lefty blog against circumcision, which is certainly of a piece with the same strain of anti-Semitism that Marx and Luther shared.**  Though, as I've been telling you, other anti-Semites like William L. Pierce, who take Darwin as their authority, advocate the same things that Hitler did.

*  In other places in his correspondence, Marx and Engels queer bash at least one political opponent on the left, though I don't have time to look up the citation.   American and British and other lefties have been covering up for Marx on such issues as, indeed, they do for Darwin and his viciously expressed scientific racism and his clear hatred and disdain for the poor and the disabled.  I have come to see that, founded in Malthus, the entire theory of natural selection is an introduction of those hatreds into the very heart of science, where its nature is entirely unmentioned and denied.  You can cover up that kind of thing with the language of science, secure in the repute that science is held in to protect you and what you've put there.  The opposite is not true of religion.  One of the greatest things about the Jewish religion is that they admit the many moral indictments there are to be made against their sins.  If they hadn't recorded those falls from grace, exhaustively, anti-Semites would have had to invent them.  Anti-Semites, in science, in atheism, don't have any moral imperative to document their sins or to repent of them.  Natural selection, elevating the violent and deadly "struggle for existence" against the disabled, against those it identifies as inferior into a moral virtue in which murder produces its own rewards is the exact opposite of that.

** I had to point out to several lefties engaged in that fashionable exercise in petty anti-Semitism that the World Health Organization advocated circumcision because circumcised men were less likely to pass on HIV infection (and I'd guess other STDs) than men who weren't circumcised.  Maybe those Jews knew a lot more than the idiots who snark about "bronze age goat herders" today do.  If people took more of their advice a lot of the really bad things going on wouldn't be happening.  Though they were certainly not perfect, they produced one of the most remarkable series of texts in existence.
As the rescue efforts and efforts to aid those endangered and stranded by the hurricane disaster in Texas brings out the best in those people who do that, it is bringing out the worst and stupidest of people who sit in front of their computers and, in too many cases, microphones on TV and the radio. I don't want to dwell on them too much but I will say that it was seeing that kind of stupidity and cruelty over the 2013 Tornados in Oklahoma took off my blinders about some of the less attractive features of too much of the the so-called left.  Regional snobbery was part of it, as was ignorance of people who don't know the territory.  There is just something about the anonymity of internet commentary that allows the inner a-hole to come out.  I don't think it's a good thing. 

But there will be a time for going over that.  For now what's important is for the people who do something for others to be supported by those of us who, for reasons of geography or incompetence or inability, aren't and who should never forget that we aren't.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Busy Day To Begin A Busy Week

If you do a search of my blog with the search term "Martin Luther" you will find many, many posts which refer to Martin Luther King jr, you will find, by my count, two mentions of the German ex-Augustinian founder of Lutheranism, one a quote from a piece which noted Luther said that some Christians were worse at being Christians than atheists, in reference to the "Christianity" of Donald Trump, the other is something I wrote as recently as August 7, 2016

Shit for brains, alleged scientist, "Skeptic Tank," has accused me of following Martin Luther?   I don't think I've ever, once, said anything good about Martin Luther who I think got some of the most basic aspects of The Gospel entirely wrong, he even wanted to cut one of my favorite books out of The Bible, The Letter of James. I assume the issue was St. James saying that faith without works was useless.  And that's, of course, not counting his anti-Jewish rants, his siding with the princes against the peasants, etc.  But, few of the rump of regulars still frequenting Eschaton have ever let accuracy get in the way of a convenient lie.  They really do have a lot more in common with the Trumpian lunatics than they'd ever want pointed out.

Needless to say, well, it would be needless for someone more informed than Simps and his buddies, that for an Irish Catholic looking for authority on Christianity, Martin Luther is not high on my list of those to reach for.  I think his Justification by faith and his demotion of works is a total distortion of not only the Gospel but, also, the Law and the Prophets.  And, note, I noted his anti-Jewish rants and his siding with princes against peasants.  To have one of "Skeptic Tanks" best buddies throwing Martin Luther in my face last night was especially funny because if you look at that post, it is called Simps Lies And Chumps Buy It And Water Is Wet and it carried the clueless and musically incompetent comment by Simels

BTW, Little Milton played harp -- Clapton is a guitarist. For your lame criticism to make sense, you'd have to say "I'd rather listen to T-Bone Walker or Otis Rush."

For anyone who doesn't know, Little Milton played guitar and I pointed Simps to a song he wrote about his history in music beginning with him picking up a guitar.   As can be seen by a word search of this blog using "Simels" or "Simps" or "Stupy" he never learns.

I have a huge pile of work to do before the school year begins tomorrow (meetings, not classes) until then you can read this history of the long, fraught and varied issue of Luther, Lutheranism and Lutherans with anti-Semitism by Christopher Ocker.   I will warn you that it is long and complex (Simps and his buddies can't read that much so they won't read it)  with many different points of view, starting with Luther's history of trying to convert Jews to Lutheranism to his angry, dissapointed rants when they didn't, in large numbers and the various responses of Lutherans through history dealing with his infamous anti-Semitic rants.   You should, of course, note that for Luther, Jewishness was defined by religious denomination and not by biological inheritance and, so, even his worst tendencies were distinctly different from scientific racists of the kind who gave Nazism its racial-biological and so genocidal eugenics.  Note that such stuff began in a would-be scientific linguistics, not in theology.   If you don't think there is a difference between someone wanting to persuade you to join them and someone wanting to kill you and everyone related to you, you really are incredibly stupid and dishonest.