Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Lauren Shippen - The Bright Sessions

People liked Limetown last week and I decided to post another series that are really popular.   These are in the form of recordings of therapy sessions.   All the ones I've listened to are what are called "two handers" more talking than action, though there's lots of internal action.   One big bonus is that the scripts are posted, too. 

I'll get back to posting longer stand-alone plays next week.

Alban Berg - Violin Concerto op 36

I was thrilled beyond any description when I found this Youtube of a cleaned up recording of the second performance of the famous Berg Violin Concerto, played by the man who commissioned it, Louis Krasner and conducted by Berg's fellow student of Schoenberg and most perhaps careful interpreter,  the great composer Anton Webern conducting the BBC orchestra.

It's certainly not modern digital quality but the recording from old acetate recordings owned by Louis Krasner reveal levels of detail in both Krasner's playing and Webern's conducting that make them an essential document for anyone intending to perform the work or to have a deeper knowledge of the music.  I think it also should inform people about how Webern may have seen his own music. It certainly isn't the cool to chilly kind of interpretation that people associated with Webern back when I was in college.   I remember listening to the great pianist Alfred Brendel saying that he believed the reason people didn't like Schoenberg's music wasn't because it was cold and "mathematical," pointing out the monodrama Erwartung and, if I recall, the Three Pieces op. 11, he pointed out that it is some of the most intensely emotional music ever written.

The Berg Concerto was written over a number of years, to be dedicated to the memory of Manon Gropius, the daughter of  Alma Mahler and her second husband Walter Gropius (see picture on the Youtube posted below).   It was finished after the start of the heart disease which would kill Berg not long after he completed the piece, it is full of the experience of facing the loss of loved ones and our own eventual death.  By the time in the second and last movement that he quotes the J. S. Bach chorale, Es Ist Genug it is almost unbearably sad and disturbing music. I don't know much about Berg's ideas about the afterlife but Webern, a Catholic mystic, certainly believed in it.  But there isn't any way to talk about this piece in words that comes near to the point of it, you have to listen to the piece to begin to understand that and this recording, for all its shortcomings is the best way I've ever heard into it.  I've listened to it scores, maybe hundreds of times but this is like hearing it for the first time.  There are many other recordings of the piece on Youtube if you want to hear a cleaner recording, it is one of the most often performed and recorded violin concertos of the 20th century.  Krasner performed recorded it with many other conductors.

Here is a more hi-fi recording of it, which is among the best I know of.

Henryk Szeryng, violin
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik, conductor

These recordings all sound better on a disc than they do on Youtube.  I'm not sure if the first one has been made available in a good transfer but if it is I'm ordering it as soon as I get this posted.

The Berg Concerto is the one piece that I've heard people who declare they hate "12-tone" or "atonal music" or "academic serialism" (the stupidest of all musical labels, used almost exclusively by idiots) make an exception for  It is a work of transcendent greatness.

Call It The Tim Murphy Memorial Operation: How To Fight Against Trump's Attacks On Women's Health Care

1.  Start holding men who father children out of wedlock fully responsible for their financial support, including child care.

2.  Let the assholes know that they and their sonny-boys will be fully responsible for the financial support of the children they produce.   Really drill it into their stupid minds, over and over again so that they really believe it will be done. 

You do that and I guarantee you, a significant amount of Trump's support, Republican-fascist support for destroying women's access to healthcare, including reproductive health care, will melt away.  You won't get all of them but I'll bet it would drive his support down, perhaps into the 20%s and that's the beginning of the end for the scum bag.   If Donny jr. or Eric produced an inconvenient or potentially costly pregnancy,  Donald Trump would probably have his thugs pressure the woman to have an abortion, probably offering to pay for it. 


Perhaps it's considered outré in the smart set, the transitive law of mathematics and logic, but in my primitive rural school, we were taught:

If a = b and b = c then a = c.  

Darwinism  = natural selection (by definition) and natural selection = survival of the fittest (also social Darwinism, by definition) (Darwin, editions 5 and 6 of On the Origin of species). 

Therefore Darwinism = "social Darwinism". 

The history of that claim that there is a difference between Darwinism and social Darwinism is something I looked into but not extensively, if it didn't originate after WWII and the need to rescue St. Darwin from his and his theories association with the atrocities of the Nazis, it gained currency in that period up till today.  The lie is ubiquitous among allegedly educated people though a lie exposed by that one thing that they oddly don't encourage for St. Darwin, reading what he wrote, in full and in the context of his own citations. 

That eugenics was founded on Darwinism is not only a matter of reason, because the invention of eugenics would have no motivation and make no sense at all if natural selection were not assumed, it is confirmed by the ultimate of authorities in the matter, the inventor of eugenics, Francis Galton.  That is confirmed, again, by Darwin's citation of Galton's earliest works in eugenics (again, on the authority of Francis Galton identifying them as such), his support for his son George's eugenic articles and his own promotion of eugenic ideas, though he favored the method of extermination of the "savage races" at the hands of the "civilised" murderers who would prove their superiority through that act of killing off their rivals to more benign methods of eugenics.   Charles Darwin was firmly opposed to contraception because he thought that if women could have sex without risk of pregnancy, they'd enjoy it and slip around a bit.  

It would help if you actually read what your idol, your man god, your plaster St. Charles Darwin had actually said instead of what people have lied to cover that up. I can give quotes and citations and, in fact, have, over and over again, to the same idiots who refuse to read what their atheist idol said. 

I am kind of fascinated by the phenomenon of easily refuted lies which are sold and bought through the venue of English language education, at least in the United States and Britain, though my experience online is that it is common to Australia and Canada, as well.   That the towering figure of Charles Darwin is "known" through falsifying what the man himself said, through people, today, who never met the man contradicting what his own children, his closest professional colleagues said about him is a window into just how much secular, materialist, scientistic, atheist mythology is passed on by people who claim to own fact and evidence based knowledge, disdaining unevidenced belief .   

Quite a bit more of it than should be allowed is complete and utter lies and bull shit.  And yet they wonder why people don't believe them on important things, like man made climate change. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Roots of Trump’s Prejudice

When You Don't Have The Facts, Try To Deflect With A Lie

Freki, not having any refutation as to what I said, posted an accusation of misogyny against me at Duncan Black's blog, of course it's a. a lie, b. irrelevant, c. just another one of her many lies.

It's so funny because not two weeks ago I had this exchange at Echidne of the Snakes, the feminist blog I used to write for.

Anthony McCarthy • 11 days ago
You might want to look at Eliza Burt Gamble's early critique of Darwin's theory of male supremacy in her book The Evolution of Women.

While a lot of her assumptions are based on outmoded science - as were Darwin's- her arguments, taking the same purported phenomena as Darwin based his male supremacy on and showing how they could be interpreted as indicating that women were demonstrating superior intellectual power through them. It's interesting to consider the extent to which all of it is based on biased reporting of phenomena, if phenomena they are instead of lore, cultural biases and the inherent male supremacy of science at the time of Darwin. I think her argument took many of the same things for granted when that wasn't warranted but her arguments are worth considering as a possible different interpretation of evidence and critique of methodology.

Crissa  Anthony McCarthy • 11 days ago
I know of no references which can be authenticated of Darwin writing about a superiority of male over female, aside from his critique on Mill's work.

Hardly an unequivocal support for male dominance.

Anthony McCarthy  Crissa • 10 days ago
Off hand, I can cite:

The Descent of Man Chapter XIX

- Man is more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius.

- The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music,—comprising composition and performance, history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation of averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary Genius,’ that if men are capable of decided eminence over women in many subjects, the average standard of mental power in man must be above that of woman.

- If they always held good, we might conclude (but I am here wandering beyond my proper bounds) that the inherited effects of the early education of boys and girls would be transmitted equally to both sexes; so that the present inequality between the sexes in mental power could not be effaced by a similar course of early training; nor can it have been caused by their dissimilar early training. In order that woman should reach the same standard as man, she ought, when nearly adult, to be trained to energy and perseverance, and to have her reason and imagination exercised to the highest point; and then she would probably transmit these qualities chiefly to her adult daughters. The whole body of women, however, could not be thus raised, unless during many generations the women who excelled in the above robust virtues were married, and produced offspring in larger numbers than other women. As before remarked with respect to bodily strength, although men do not now fight for the sake of obtaining wives, and this form of selection has passed away, yet they generally have to undergo, during manhood, a severe struggle in order to maintain themselves and their families; and this will tend to keep up or even increase their mental powers, and, as a consequence, the present inequality between the sexes.

Crissa  Anthony McCarthy • 10 days ago
It seems to me the latter quote rather suggests that inequality in training and culture is kinda bigger than anything evolutionary.

Anthony McCarthy  Crissa • 9 days ago
Actually, it says exactly the opposite. "so that the present inequality between the sexes in mental power could not be effaced by a similar course of early training; nor can it have been caused by their dissimilar early training".

Darwin noted, before he said that, that any increase in intelligence that came from women of greater intelligence having more children than those of less intelligence but that those qualities would be passed on to their children of both gender.

Darwin did not believe that women, on average, are the equal of men, on average. His citation of Galton and the refusal of both of them to consider that the status quo of their time, from which they drew the closest thing to "data" that they cited, was the product of social, legal and culturally produced inequality insured they would take that inequality to be the product of biological inheritance and the material differences in the bodies of males and females.

The Darwin that most of us were taught to believe in is a post-WWII myth. Reading him, reading the things he cites as reliable science produces a rather stunning disconfirmation of that idealized myth.

I had thought of doing a post about the odd concurrence of devoted Darwin worship with a clear inability to read what the man wrote.  I mean, I quoted and cited the man as saying essentially the same crap that just about all misogynists say.  I had noted his condescending dismissal of the very superior understanding of the moral consequences of Darwinism by Frances Cobbe.  But politics and other depravity intervened.

I have read Darwin.  I have read much of the surrounding literature.  I don't say things about it I can't back up, with full quotes and citations.  Those dolts haven't.

The motto of Eschaton should be, "no lie too obvious to tell". 

Freki is Simp's only competition for biggest liar on Duncan's blog.  Though there are some close runners up.   No Miss Congeniality there. 

"in consequence how much the Human race, viewed as a unit, will have risen in rank"

It is very true what you say about the higher races of men, when high enough, replacing & clearing off the lower races. In 500 years how the Anglo-saxon race will have spread & exterminated whole nations; & in consequence how much the Human race, viewed as a unit, will have risen in rank. 

Charles Darwin, letter to Charles Kingsley   February, 6 1862

Oh, that doesn't surprise me, Simels tells variations on that lie with remarkable frequency.   Anyone who has ever read my blog - which means just about none of the idiots at Eschaton who snark about it - knows I never said anything remotely like, "Nazis aren’t anti-Semites. They’re Darwinists."

Unlike Simps and the Eschatots I am aware that people can be both.  Just off the top of my head a list of Darwinists who were anti-Semites would include Karl Pearson, Charles Davenport, Alfred Ploetz (he became an anti-Semite as a result of his Darwinism),  Eugen Fisher,  Konrad Lorenz, James Hervey Johnson, William L. Pierce, Kevin MacDonald, If my memory serves me right, David Irving, though that's from memory I don't have time to do research.  Since Darwinism is practically synonymous with a belief in natural selection and natural selection is the foundation of eugenics, any eugenicist who is also an anti-Semite is, admittedly or not, a Darwinist who is an anti-Semite.

I haven't researched the Darwin corpus for signs of anti-Semitism.  I suspect he, always something of a social climber wouldn't have said anything of the sort after Disraeli became prime minister, or maybe it wasn't done in Darwin-Wedgewood circles.   I do know of one instance of petty anti-Semitism in his correspondence, probably someone saying it today would be forever damned by Simels as an anti-Semite.

I have just balanced my 1⁄2 years accounts and feel exactly as if some one had given me one or two hundred per annum: this last half year, our expenses with some extras has only been 456£, that is excluding the new Garden wall; so that allowing Christmas half year to be about a 100£ more, we are living on about 1000£ per annum: moreover this last year, subtracting extraordinary receipts, has been 1400£ so that we are as rich as Jews. 

This, from the Holocaust Museum site's Encyclopedia, is worth considering, especially in light of Charles Darwin, himself, saying that Spencer's formulation which would become known as "social Darwinism" was exactly what he meant when he said "Natural Selection," somewhat regretting that he'd not used the phrase "Survival of the Fittest" in place of his original name for his theory.   And why, after Darwin published his books On the Origin of Species and, even more so The Descent of Man, that anti-Semitism changed, drastically.  I think that Darwinism both confirmed and furthered the superstitions of post-romantic would-be scientific racism that arose, originally, out of early 19th century linguistic-racial theory in Germany.


With the development during the last quarter of the nineteenth century of technological progress and scientific knowledge, especially about human biology, psychology, genetics, and evolution, some intellectuals and politicians developed a racist perception of Jews. This perception developed within a broader racist view of the world based on notions of "inequality" of "races" and the alleged "superiority" of the "white race" over other "races."

Belief in the superiority of the "white race" was both inspired and reinforced by the contact of European colonist-conquerors with native populations in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, and buttressed as pseudo-science by a perversion of evolutionary theory known as "social Darwinism." "Social Darwinism" postulated that human beings were not one species, but divided into several different "races" that were biologically driven to struggle against one another for living space to ensure their survival. Only those "races" with superior qualities could win this eternal struggle which was carried out by force and warfare. Social Darwinism has always been the product of bogus science: to this day, despite a century and a half of efforts by racists to find it, there is no biological science to support social Darwinist theory.

These new "antisemites," as they called themselves, drew upon older stereotypes to maintain that the Jews behaved the way they did—and would not change—because of innate racial qualities inherited from the dawn of time. Drawing as well upon the pseudoscience of racial eugenics, they argued that the Jews spread their so-called pernicious influence to weaken nations in Central Europe not only by political, economic, and media methods, but also literally by "polluting" so-called pure Aryan blood by intermarriage and sexual relations with non-Jews. They argued that Jewish "racial intermixing," by "contaminating" and weakening the host nations, served as part of a conscious Jewish plan for world domination.

Though secular racists drew upon religious imagery and stereotypes to define hereditary Jewish "behavior," they insisted that alleged Jewish "traits" were handed down from generation to generation. Since "Jews" did not form a religious group, but a "race," the conversion of an individual Jew to Christianity did not change his racial "Jewishness" and was therefore by nature an insincere conversion.

In the late nineteenth century in Germany and Austria, politicians took advantage of both traditional and racist antisemitism to mobilize votes as the electoral franchise widened. In his political writings during the 1920s, Adolf Hitler named two Austrian politicians who most influenced his own approach to politics: Georg von Schönerer (1842–1921), and Karl Lüger (1844–1910). Schönerer brought the racist antisemitic style and content to Austrian politics in the 1880s and 1890s. Lüger was elected mayor of Vienna, Austria, in 1897, not only because of his antisemitic rhetoric, which for him was primarily a political tool, but because of his oratorical skills and populist charisma that permitted him to communicate his message to broad sectors of the population.

I do know that Schönerer was a eugenicist after 1880 and that eugenics is, as mentioned above, inseparable from Darwinism.  I am not anything like a scholar of his putrid life and thinking so I don't know the extent to which he might have made that connection.  And, as I said, eugenics was invented out of the theory of natural selection, that is a hard, historical fact, so that any eugenicist as well as any "social-Darwinist" is a Darwinist.

From that quote at the top of the page, it's obvious that while he might have quibbled with the list of races whose extermination would lead the human species to have "risen in rank" Darwin was essentially not different in his view of salubrious genocide from Hitler, who merely believed it would be the "Anglo Saxon's" near cousins who would do the killing and come out on top.   Darwin said as much on more than one occasion, over the course of many years.  That idea entered into science with him.

Looking for The Answer In Paddock's Brain Won't Tell You How He Did It, It Won't Even Tell You Why He Did It

The media frenzy to try to determine what was wrong with Stephen Paddock's brain is focusing on the wrong thing, what they should be asking is what is wrong with the soul and mind of a country which allows someone like him to amass the kind of murderous potential, in de facto machine guns (based on legal fiction based in quibbling about words and not in reality) and modern explosives that could be combined to produce enormous and murderous explosions. 

Paddock's brain could have been in a dangerous state (which is assuming that's where the problem lies) and he could have had access to no more than the kind of gun that the idiot founders knew or a knife and he couldn't have killed and maimed the number of people he did with legally obtained guns legally modified into de facto machine guns - you want to bet that the idiots in the Congress don't pass an effective ban on bump stocks or, if they do, that the Republican Supreme Court won't overturn it?   Or that gun nuts like the one who invented the bump stock won't come up with something that will, in lawyer-ville but no where in real life, not make a "semi-automatic" into an automatic rifle? 

And that's not to mention the kind of explosive he bought in large enough quantities to produce a huge or even smaller but equally murderous bombs?  The stuff, like the bump stock, is advertised as being for thrill seeking hobbyists but its potential for killing people, either by terrorist intention or idiots getting their kicks is well known.

The United States through a media driven libertarian denial of reality has gone insane, the what I hope is a majority of sane people not able to cut  through to sane, rational government  facing the present libertarian interpretation of the Constitution, the modern manipulation of marginal people, gerrymandering congressional districts, corporate "personhood" and a myriad of other means of people rigging the system to produce The United States of Insanity. 

I've been studying the life and career of Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. because I've come to the conclusion that he, as much as anyone, embodies some of the most damaging of trends in thought and, more so, legal pretense that have produced this kind of depravity.  His second most famous declaration that the life of the law wasn't reason but experience combined with his ideological materialism, his Darwinist belief that a struggle in which the strong would crush the weak would produce salubrious results, and his pathological attachments to a concept of hyper masculinity (I wonder if it isn't all an expression of his daddy issues, a result of his revolt against his poet daddy).  I've come to the conclusion that he, perhaps, did as much as anyone to create the phenomenon of the one place in life that the post-modernist mode of thinking has gained purchase, the law, legal scholarship, judicial scribbling and the such.   The frequent complaint that the Supreme Court and other courts and judges often issue rulings based on clear insanity, often for the benefit of the powerful and those with influence, often clearly harmful to those whose right to justice is violated in their decisions could be explained in terms of Holmes. 

The fact is that even lawyers and judges and justices and legal scholars who spout this kind of Holmesian neo-modernist drivel would never put up with anyone treating them in the same way.  I recently listened to a lecture that William Lane Craig gave where he made that point, that no one lives their own life as if they believed that post-modernist anti-logic, anti-meaning, etc. were true.  It's only when it comes to people with law licenses and judicial appointments and people with appointments to Supreme Courts, state and federal, want to use that to do bad things that that pretense is upheld.  I believe the only reason we have put up with it is because they have managed to make the law some kind of mystery cult, the dicta of which, handed down by the priesthood, based on the scripture of the founders, which is to be taken as final truth.  In that we see even they don't believe in their de facto post-modernism even as they practice it.   In that they could be doing one thing that Holmes loved to pretend he was doing, imposing scientific methods to the law.  Only he and his fellow lawyers and judges took the worst thing that scientists do, issue such dicta that is to be taken as true on their say so, to be accepted by an ignorant and naive public as settled truth.

I will admit that reading the words of Madison, of Holmes, of the other gods of that cult has brought me to a state of profoundly pessimistic disrespect for those idols of civic, secular,  neo-paganism.  It's the paganism of atheist materialist modernism.  Another thing that Craig said in pointing out that even the post-modernists didn't live according to their declarations (I'll bet especially when seeking tenure, negotiating salary and benefits and conducting their business affairs) that the whole thing was just a shell game to avoid dealing with the crises brought about by the depravity of modernism. 

While they're looking for a lesion pressing against Paddock's amygdala, they'll ignore how he did what he did in looking for a why which that won't provide.  As I said, he chose to kill people in a deliberate act, look at what he was also choosing to watch and listen to, it might give you some idea as to how he came to figure he should do what he did, why he wanted to do it.  And you should look at what's wrong with this country that has done nothing with an annual body count in which 58 dead is a drop in the ocean of blood.   It's also why we have Donald Trump and a country that can watch him provoke nuclear war and not remove him from office.  It's the Donald Trump margin of pathology,  international Stephen Paddocks among them, by the million,  who can contemplate reigning down on Koreans what Paddock did in Las Vegas, only with millions dead.   And it's not a physiological problem. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hate Mail - How Sad It Is When Stupid People Think They're Smart And Tell Each Other That

Ah, Simels has to lie about what I said because he can't argue against what I actually did say.  Duncan's dumb bells never read anything before they wax wrong about it.  It's what Stupy relies on, it's what Duncan doesn't care about.  The guy's a lazy putz.  He's long reminded me of those early people on TV whose careers were over by the early 60s but who deluded themselves that they were some kind of celebrities for the rest of their lives.  I remember seeing one in some kind of 50 years of TV thing and it was about as sad a spectacle of self-delusion as I've ever seen.  Dave Garroway, after Today, always seemed like a bit of a sad embarrassment only he never stopped trying.  

Even "The Horse" of Media Whores Online, even the far more durable Bart Cop are fading and compared to Duncan, they were once something.   They had to stop or die before fading.  Duncan chose to fade, figuring he'd still be able to go on making money from his one trick cash cow. 

Update:  "It's like Wack-a-Mole."  

Actually, since it's Simps it's more like miniature golf.   

Who Needs ISIS When Mitch McConnell Will Make Future Stephen Paddocks Able To Get The Means Of Killing Us?

The Republican Party is the enemy of the American People, it is the party of the psychopathic factions whose paranoia is used by the gun industry, the NRA and other gun promotion groups to put guns, de-facto machine guns into the hands of people like Stephen Paddock and Adam Lanza.

This is the Republican Party using the gun crazy in order to win elections and to take power and if it isn't Republicans in the House and Senate and in state legislatures, it is the thoroughly politicized Republican members of the Supreme Court, Roberts, Alito, Thomas Gorsuch and Kennedy. 

When ISIS was claiming that this gambling yahoo and getting the FOX Republican-fascists in full distraction from reality mode, my first thought was who needs ISIS to do this when our own government is in the hands of people who enable and encourage the mass murderers to kill more of us than ISIS or Al Qaeda together could hope to?   Republicans the NRA that pulls their strings and the strings of Republican voters, the Republicans on the Supreme Court and lower courts who do the bidding of the gun industry are the Mammonist ISIS in North America, the ones who ISIS and other terror groups depend on to arm the few fanatics who are incited by them and the many times more incited by American entertainment and American Nazism to kill many more of us. 

I've mentioned the time I realized that someone murdered under Stalin or Mao was as murdered as someone murdered under Hitler and that that erased the phony political science distinction between mass murdering regimes.  Well, the Republican Party is doing to the United States the same thing that Al Qaeda did and which ISIS would like to do so they are really engaged in the same thing, the Republicans on the Supreme court, most of all are doing what they are doing using the language of the United States Constitution to get us killed in huge numbers, many, many 9-11s every year, every few weeks. 

It's time to stop pretending that the Republican Party and any government under them is anything but an entity that enables this to happen, over and over and over and over again. 

Last night Mitch McConnell accused the Senators who will try to bring up a bill outlawing bump fire stocks such as Stephen Paddock used to kill dozens and wound hundreds at a concert in Las Vegas of "politicizing" the event.  Well, it's about as disgusting a thing for a politician to be saying when the protection of the American People is supposed to be the first item in the responsibilities of an American politician.  It's contained in that preamble to the Constitution as a promise that that is why the document was written and proposed for adoption.  This is exactly the thing that should become a political concern.  If that part of the Constitution is considered moot, then the thing is totally useless and needs to be replaced with one that will allow for it and for the removal of politicians who act in concert with the gun industry, the modern Murder Inc. of the NRA and other enemies of the American People who kill us.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How To Deal With The Erudition Of The Internet Age

I need to make a sign and put it over my computer screen for whenever I'm trying to figure out what Simps and his cohort mean when they send the hate my way, it was something one of my fellow music majors said to someone who was trying to figure out why someone was being such a idiot, the advice was


Or, as William Cobbett put it

The taste of the times is, unhappily, to give to children something of book-learning, with a view of placing them to live, in some way or other, upon the labour of other people. Very seldom, comparatively speaking, has this succeeded, even during the wasteful public expenditure of the last thirty years; and, in the times that are approaching, it cannot, I thank God, succeed at all. When the project has failed, what disappointment, mortification and misery, to both parent and child! The latter is spoiled as a labourer: his book-learning has only made him conceited: into some course of desperation he falls; and the end is but too often not only wretched but ignominious.   William Cobbett  1833

Only ignominy requires more of an effort than they want to put into anything and exposure of their babble to people intelligent enough to understand its status as silliness.  That's something they don't risk doing in the little cul-de-sacs they choose to inhabit. 

Trump is Not Planning to Rebuild Puerto Rico

Hate Mail's In

The contention that what the man who CHOSE to kill and try to kill hundreds of people also CHOSE to watch and listen to and, perhaps, though I doubt nearly as much so, read wouldn't tell you more about how he made his choice than dredging up his long gone bank robber daddy seems to be a rather stupid choice on your part.  The same man chose to do all of those things, he didn't chose his father. 

Anyone who considers himself an expert on country music and just, somehow, didn't seem to encounter the myraid of country songs themed on guns, encouraging gun use, killing people with guns, solving problems with guns, asserting rights to carry guns, etc. is just a bit too stupid to take seriously  As it is, I didn't say that the guy in Las Vagas was motivated by country music but the gun culture that prevents us from keeping weapons out of the hands of the insane, the fascist the violent, the jealous boyfriend-husband, the pathological male with a sense of being entitled to kill people, etc. that is influenced by the large body of country songs that do encourage that just as any other genre of music that carries the same messaging.  I don't have problem with the idea that skinheads who murder people are influenced by the hate-rock they listen to, either.  

You are as stupid as the "Freedom" Caucus of the House, only pretending you're on the left and a lot more pretentious and conceited.  And, since it works so much better for them than the left, all the stupider for pretending it works for the left. . 

Night Thoughts On The American Cold Civil War - Look At What The Killer Watches On TV and Online If You Want To Know Why He Did It

While they're trying to figure out what motivated the mass murderer in Las Vegas to use his "Second Amendment rights" to murder close to 60 people and injure many more, trying to square an old, white man who was a millionaire, living the materialistic good life such as the United States affords to old while men like him, I'd like to know what movies and TV and other entertainment media he watched because it's more than possible that was what provided him with the idea to do such a thing, such media has certainly inspired previous violence.  Timothy McVeigh and Dylan Roof got their inspiration from The Turner Diaries, I would wonder what this Paddock was reading and watching. I suspect that might provide a more fruitful avenue to trying to piece together a motive than looking at his bank robber daddy.

But I doubt that will be done, the major news venues are all owned by people and are staffed by people who produce such content or they, otherwise, benefit from the absurd idea that the propaganda that any mass media is entirely innocuous even when it spreads the most obviously pathological glamorization of violence.  They claim it has no known effect on behavior, sometimes doing that in between the commercials it carries, those 20 second messages broadcast in order to effect behavior.

The images of manliness sold by the media, the movies, TV, novels, pop songs, are intimately involved with the cold-civil war we are in.  I don't know anything about the singer whose concert was attacked, other than what I've looked up in the lyrics he sang, things like "Dirt Road Anthem" (I didn't listen to him, I just read the words as found online) and there was no specific advocacy of guns, though I didn't look at the lyrics of everything he sang.   But when he was described as a "country" singer, the frequent advocacy of armed, gun-packing, manliness manliness in "country" music was one of the first things I thought of.  Country music as much as other pop styles promote what is contained in their content. 

And, never let anyone get away with pretending that any advocacy of gun ownership and use is anything but the advocacy of violence,  violence is the only reason guns exist, it is what they are made and scientifically enhanced to produce.   And the scientists and engineers who invent and design guns are as much a part of the chain of violence that killed and injured those people and all others who get shot have as much blood on their hands as anyone.

So, we know 64 year old, white real-estate millionaire who liked to gamble and go to shows in Las Vegas, who has an Asian girlfriend committed what is, for now, the largest single mass murder by gun in American history.  People are expressing shock and surprise that someone of his discription did such a thing but, given that he probably grew up on American TV and entertainment, such a thing shouldn't be surprising.   Such a person is likely to feel a sense of entitlement that might lead them to do this.

I would especially look to see if he liked watching things like cable crime-shows, the kind that describe real-life crimes and focus on the criminals as if they were celebrities.  After the man murdered the Amish school girls in what blurs into the tapestry of mass gun death under the Second Amendment I wrote that to probably a tiny but dangerous number of the audience members, those shows carry both a how-to set of instructions and a pathological notion of glamor and celebrity that might be emulated.  I would like to not be proven right in that suspicion but since the Supreme Court, the Republicans in congress and elsewhere, the gun industry and the "civil liberties" industry provide the phenomenon, the possibility of testing that is constantly provided.   I am afraid that for the future mass murderers in the cable TV audience, on the sewer levels of the internet, they'll see this guy as someone to learn from and to try to top to take his position.  I wouldn't bet against those people being in the audience.  What else would they be watching?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Trump’s “Condolences and Sympathies” Won’t Cut It

So Trump is going to go to Las Vegas, as if they haven't suffered enough.  God only knows what is going to come out of his stupid mouth on that occasion.  I think it would be better if he didn't bother.  

I'm still waiting to find out more about why the murderer did it, I'm avoiding reading too much chatter, I had my fill of that a couple of mass murders back. 

This Is The America That The Supreme Court Gave Us As They Used The Bill Of Rights To Empower People Who Are Killing Us And Lying About The Murders Of Children

I won't have anything specific to say about the mass murder in Las Vegas last night except to say that it will join the long list of ever dimming memories of horrific gun murders in the United States under the Bill of Rights which doesn't only not protect us in the way the preamble of the Constitution promises, it is an active means of robbing us of everything that it gave as a guarantee:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

And, now, in 2017, largely through the Supreme Court using provisions of that Constitution to empower the Republican-fascist party and its various factions, notably, this morning, the gun industry and those it has successfully rendered paranoid, more than fifty more Americans are gunned down by a single gunman using the products sold to him with the blessing of the Supreme Court and the Republican-fascists in government and on courts.  

Far from protecting innocent Americans, the Constitution and, specifically, the interpretation of the Bill of Rights, has protected Alex Jones' "right" to lie about the children massacred by a single gunman with legally owned guns while dangerously insane to his pathological audience.  It did nothing to protect those children, it put the gun into the hands of their murderer.  

That is among the "something ain't right" that Jay Semko sang about too long ago for it to not have been heard and acted on. 

Nina Totenberg talked about the new Court term and how with Neil Gorsuch on it and the impending retirement of Anthony Kennedy things are going to get worse and worse.  Only she didn't say that last part. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fats Navarro - Double Talk

Fats Navarro (trumpet) Howard McGhee (trumpet, piano) Ernie Henry (alto saxophone) Milt Jackson (vibraphone, piano) Curly Russell (bass) Kenny Clarke (drums)

Profile In Courage As Profile In Abstract Depravity

At least once a week I get an unhinged challenge to something I said in the assertion that I claimed that it's impossible for an atheist to be a moral person.  It's phrased in different ways, not all of them as unhinged as most but they're always coming up with some assertion that so-and-so is an atheist and a moral person.  In some cases I could have chosen a better example than the one chosen, you can do the same thing with religious believers and those who present themselves as religious but whose flexible, always self-interested view of something they call "morality" leads me to doubt the sincerity of their professions of faith.

One of those accusations was leftover down the list of pending comments which I haven't had time to deal with this week or so and it happened to come that I'd just listened to a sort of debate between the Yale University ethicist, Shelly Kagan and the Baylor University philosophy professor William Lane Craig on the question Is God Necessary for Morality?

I do have to say that it was nice, for a change, to be listening to Craig arguing with someone else trained in philosophy instead of a big name scientist or so-called scientist (social "scientist") and who had the kind of grasp of the problems that a PhD in some STEM topic doesn't generally carry these days.  It was nice to hear something other than the cartoonish arguments of eminent scientists who don't deal with these matters in a rigorous fashion. I can't say that I was entirely happy with either Kagan's or Craig's presentation, though I clearly agree with Craig that for any significant morality to exist that there has to be an ultimate giver of moral law.  As he pointed out sometime during the exchange a number of atheists had come to the same conclusion, I recall he mentioned Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell and Sartre and how they faced their conclusion that there was no objective morality.

But I'll let you listen to the debate except for one point which I'll get to, later.

I kept feeling annoyed by the tone of the debate, particularly Kagan's assertions about the possibility of atheists acting morally, something which Craig pointed out he hadn't denied and which was a distinct difference from the question under debate.  That gets back to the comments I get on this in which so-and-so is given as an example of an atheist of high moral character.  Sometimes the example chosen I'd pick a bone or two over,  sometimes I'm tempted to present another atheist as a better example to illustrate the assertion.  But that's not really what's important in my thinking on the subject.

Listening to Kagan's complex, detailed, nuanced, not all that convincing arguments which would require the mastering of a lot of complex vocabulary and the ideas which those serve, I was wondering just who he thought was going to adopt it as their reason for doing the right instead of the wrong thing.  One of the problems of academic theology is that sometimes, quite often, in fact, it is talking about God of the specialists, by the specialists and for the specialists, quite often having not much to do with the morality taught by Jesus and the other prophets.  I doubt Jesus would be able to get into any university theology program in the English speaking world, certainly the apostles couldn't, with the possible exception of Paul.

My question is just who is supposed to adopt Kagan's basis of morality as their guide to being a moral person and just how effective it is going to be in doing what is, after all, the point of the matter, not doing what is bad and doing what is good.   My question always boils down to how do you get people to treat other people as they would want to be treated even when it's decidedly not what they want to do?  How to you get the to make the choice to not do to others as they would not want done to them but to, in fact, do even for the least among us as they would God, if they believed in God.

I doubt there is any secular, atheist, materialist, etc. substitute for religious morality that is going to have even the spotty success that religions have at influencing the behavior of their members.  I do think that having any hope of having that happen on the most consequential level, the community, the society, the country and, ultimately, the world can only happen through a religious articulation of moral laws in the form of moral absolutes.  Simple enough to be widely understood by non-specialists, really believed in so as to have a real effect in producing moral behavior.


Someone engaged me in a short spat on another website yesterday over something I've mentioned here before,  John F. Kennedy naming Robert Taft as a "Profile in Courage" due to his opposition to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals on the legalistic basis that the genocidal murders, the crimes against humanity, morality and even the most basic decency were all legally legal in Nazi Germany and under their own imposition of law where they had invaded.  The person I argued with pointed out that William O. Douglas had come to the same conclusion.

The Nazis, as mentioned in the debate, the stand-in of choice as example of evil, came up in the debate and the place that the denial of moral absolutes play in such evil.  I think Craig's arguments on that, especially him citing a Soviet concentration camp guard saying that he loved that what he took as the fact that there was no God, no prospect of an accounting in an afterlife meant  meant that he was free to give free reign to the evil that filled his heart.  If I'd been debating I'd have pressed Kagan to say what there was in atheism that would hold he wasn't correct.  But I do most of my arguing online these days where things aren't as decorous as they are at a university debating hall.

In my last comment in the spat mentioned, I said that anyone who held that if they'd survived and been captured that Hitler and Goebbels should have been allowed to walk because under their dictatorship they'd made what they did legal was someone I found it impossible to take seriously.  Though such people, if pressed, apparently comprise not an inconsiderable number of American's legal minds, scholars, politicians and, as in the case of Douglas, even Supreme Court Justices and icons of some kind of liberalism sufficiently comfortable with depravity to contain that POV.

I think that thinking is entirely compatible with what, in that totally abused words, "secular" academic culture has been led to by, first, its formalistic adoption of materialist secularism and, in the end, its universal secularist-materialist-scientistic and intellectually hegemonistic, required view of the world.

I've mentioned this before, but the scene of Winston going to the movies and enthusing over the actual footage of an aerial attack on a lifeboat, the technical achievement of watching children's body parts flying through the air came to mind when I was reading the responses in that spat supporting the view of Taft and Kennedy and Douglas.

There is no realistic code of fairness or niceness or academic openness or secularist pseudo-virtue that requires me to pretend that just because there was no existing legal convention under which to hold the Nazis accountable that there was no absolute moral necessity to do so.   And, oddly, even someone as cold and cynical as Francis Biddle found that to be a necessity when confronted with the crimes of the Nazis.  It took Harvard trained lawyers and politicians - remarkably enough a decorated war hero - to pretend that wasn't the case.  Such is the effectiveness of the kind of training that allows people to assert depravity deserves to walk and get another chance as taught in the secular university that it overcame his own experience.