Saturday, November 4, 2017

In Asia, Trump Might Meet 'Pen Pineapple Apple Pen' Guy

Hate Mail

Freki, just another liar over at Duncan's, has said that my head will probably explode due to an excess of what she termed "inchoate rage".  I strongly suspect from her claim that she doesn't know what the word "inchoate" means, to start with but the idea that Simels telling me one of his - likely imaginary - friends is going to listen to Richard Dawkins fills me with with rage is mildly amusing, it fills me with nothing but indifference.   Stupid people listen to stupid people all the time. How do you think we got Trump? 

At this point, with Dawkins being so self-discredited, his science on the down-slide into the boneyard of discontinued social "science", it would be like someone saying they were going to listen to Ken Ham, only with a much smaller crowd than Ham would draw.  It has about the same effect on me as being told  someone I don't know and doubt the existence of is going to the dollar theater to watch Rocky Horror for the 52nd time.  

I do notice that Simels isn't going to hear him, which also has no meaning in the world.  Even if he did he wouldn't be able to focus for the entire length of a lecture.  For the self-congratulatory stupid misleading the self-congratulatory stupid all he has to do is spend the night at Duncan's.  

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Alan McMonagle - People Walking On Water

This darkly comedic  drama centres around retired bricklayer, Maloney and Stephen,  a young man begging on a bridge.The two strike up a surreal conversation and slowly an unlikely friendship develops.

 Eamon Morrissey  played the role of Vincent Maloney

Muiris Crowley was Stephen

Chancer was played by Manus Halligan

Sound Supervision was by Mark McGrath

Directed by Gorretti Slavin

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

Second Feature:  Paul Ledoux -  The Old Guy -   A Walk On The Water

A frozen corpse found at Cherry Beach turns out to have ties with the controversial head of the Police Union.

The title of the one reminded me of the other, they don't have a lot in common other than that, except I like them both.

Ravel - Forlane and Rigaudon



Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

A lot of people don't know that the pieces in the Tombeau de Couperin were all written in memory of men Ravel knew who died in World War 1.   The Forlane is dedicated to the memory of Gabriel Deluc, the Rigaudon to the brothers Pierre and Pascal Gaudin.  That fact was the basis of my playing of them, way, way back when I played it.  It can make all the difference between presenting them as frippery - how they're often presented - or as substantial music.

I post this in memory of one of my teachers who I just heard died. He taught the pieces to me.

Clean Out The Whole Thing - More on the Brazile Article

I wasn't very impressed with Donna Brazile as a cabloid political commentator back when I used to hear her on them and I'm not very impressed with the role she's playing with her book excerpt which is being used to accuse Hillary Clinton of some vague notion of corruption.  My first conclusion on reading the piece and taking into account its being released for publication now is that Brazile and her people are doing this for maximum benefit for her while screwing the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.  Of course, the part pointing out that Barack Obama and his operation wrecked the party apparatus to start with is ignored, why pay attention to that when you can claim that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, something Brazile's other claim to fame, cabloid-tabloid "news" has been doing for a quarter of a century.

The best thing to do with all of this is to get shut of it and all of the people who have brought us here.  Hillary Clinton will not run for president again, Bernie Sanders might out of sheer ego but I can't think of anything more damaging to the Democratic opposition to Trump and so the world, at this point, Barack Obama doesn't seem to be any more interest in building the Democratic Party than he was when he had the power to do that.  I think there should be a serious evaluation of the operatives used by all three of them to get rid of those who have been other than productive.  I have long thought that political operatives and staffers who ended up damaging the party and the country should have no future as political operatives and staffers.   With what we've learned this week about Tony Podesta, those with such family or business connections should also be excluded.

Donna Brazile, among other things, has proven herself to be unreliable through using this issue to peddle her book and her act.  I wouldn't trust her from here on I think anyone in the Democratic Party who does has probably identified themselves as idiots.

I will say, again, that the Democratic Party must A. clean out the Democratic National Committee, B. rebuild its finances, C. gain control of its nomination process through bypassing the processes set up by state legislatures for primaries and caucuses.   I think the idea of the Democratic Party holding a direct nomination by mail-in ballot - overseen by an independent entity (I'd see if Elections Canada might be able and willing to do it) exclusively cast by registered Democrats could almost certainly be more democratic with a far higher participation than the primaries and, especially, the caucuses and would remove the avenues of alleged and actual manipulation and corruption from the system.  It would also, finally, put California, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and other states on an equal footing with Iowa and New Hampshire.  There is no legal reason that the Democratic Party couldn't do that, the only restrictions are financial and logistical and those could be overcome.  It would certainly not be worse than the present system, largely in the control of anti-Democratic state legislators, people with corrupt motives and open by manipulation from non-Democratic politicians political operations, big money and the media   If Democrats did that they could also end the ridiculous practice of open elections for the Democratic nomination, in which Republicans and their stooges such as in the Green Party can screw with our nominations.  Only Democrats should be eligible to determine who the Democratic nominee is.

A lot of the fall out from the Brazile article claim that Bernie Sanders is the leader of the Democratic Party, which is beyond bizarre in that he isn't a Democrat and he has not been interested in the wellbeing of Democrats.  I can guarantee you that a lot of the people who participated in the caucus in my town as Bernie supporters were not Democrats, I heard a lot of them say they were going to vote for Jill Stein if Sanders didn't get the nomination.  It is seriously screwy that the Democratic Party would allow people like that to exercise any power in its nomination process.  I think it's as screwy to allow what happened in 2016 to happen ever again.  The Democratic Party is not a part of the government it has the power to fix this without any input for anyone but Democrats.  Someone had better do it, if the people in charge of it won't try, they have already identified themselves as the problem. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Patrick Cornelius - Christmas Gift

Patrick Cornelius, saxophone
Gerald Clayton, piano
Peter Slavov, bass
Kendrick Scott, drums

Too good to keep on a shelf till December.

This Chair Is Broken 

Album personnel:
 Patrick Cornelius: alto, tenor saxophone; Sean Conly: bass; Aaron Parks: piano, Fender Rhodes; Kendrick Scott: percussion, drums; Nick Vagenas: trombone 

I'm not  sure who everyone is on this piece, I know the wonderful Gretchen Parlato isn't singing on it, though she does on others from the album. 

Mary Lou Williams - St Martin De Porres

Instead Of Whining Over 2016 Again Make Some Real Reforms To Fix The Democratic Party

The "left" or the impotent play-group that passes as a left in the United States these days seems to be trying to refight the last presidential election.  The rage of the Bernie dead enders is on display, the efforts of the Green Party fraud to exploit that is as predicable as mold,  there is a study by some group called  Action For A Progressive Future which seems to be unusually uninterested in disclosing who runs it and who produced their study is being peddled by the Putin collaborationist magazine, The Nation*, and there is an excerpt from a book by Donna Brazile that has a title accusing Hillary Clinton "taking over" the Democratic National Committee but which I'd interpret as her stepping in to the wreckage that Barack Obama and his political operation left it in.

To start with, I think there is some valuable information in both the study and in Brazile's article but the Bernie Sanders' fantasists and other conspiracy nuts relitigating the Democratic nomination process 2016 will make the worst possible use of them.  But I don't think other than Democrats avoiding a highly charismatic figure such as Obama who, from the start of his political career, proved over and over again that he was far more about him and his legend than he was about the Democratic Party, will be anything but counter-productive.  He and his campaign staff did little to nothing to take advantage of what was given to them in 2008, he squandered his commanding majorities in both houses of Congress, tried to substitute a cult of personality for fighting for the strongest economic recovery and reform he could and the best health care bill he could.   I had heard complaints from state and local Democratic activists that Obama and his people were arrogant and dismissive if not totally indifferent to the need to build the party from the bottom, some of them said they thought members of Obama's team sought to do to the successful efforts of Howard Dean in that regard what we now see Trump doing to Obama's legacy. 

But I'm not really interested in going over all of those old resentments and wrongs except as a means of going ahead by getting rid of at least the worst of it.  And if that's not how that recent history is going to be used, instead using it to further damage the Democratic Party, then those are better forgotten.

At this point I think the Democratic Party should declare itself both post-Clinton and post-Obama but, most of all, post Bernie.  If, as some complain, the current leadership of the Party is too beholden to either one, it should be removed.  I'm not especially against of for Tom Perez** and like just about everyone else am not even all that aware of what he's doing - though if he's not working hard on rebuilding the finances of the party that Donna Brazile says were left in a shambles by both Obama and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, he should resign.  I would say that what was needed is a leader who is not seen as beholden to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders.  I will point out though, that whatever criticisms you can make of Clinton and Obama, at least they, UNLIKE BERNIE SANDERS are members of the party.

I think one of the big lessons of the last election is one the Nation crowd won't like, it is that the party needs to protect itself from being coopted by someone like Sanders who has no fundamental commitment or loyalty to the Democratic Party - I think that is exactly what the problem with Barack Obama re the Democratic Party was, why he squandered what he was given and why he left the Democratic Party in a shambles.  The basic requirement of a Democratic nominee for president should be that they have been a member of the party for at least a decade or two.  There should be a disqualification of anyone who, like Sanders, has not made that basic commitment to the party.

The hue and cry of the Sanders dead-enders is that the nomination process was rigged.  But it is a fact that Sanders is the one who benefitted from the rigged part of the nomination, THE CAUCUSES.  I don't dislike Bernie Sanders and agree with him on much more than I do Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama but he would never have won the general election.   His performance in which he won caucuses and lost primaries shows that he could never have won in any totally unrigged contest, his main strength was in those states that hold caucuses, which are a travesty, a disgusting holdover  of  an anti-democratic past. 

The most important reform that the Democratic Party could make is to get rid of caucuses - making it a rule that the results of caucuses will not count for the nomination and forcing a primary vote.   They should also make it a rule that nominations of the Democratic Party candidate will not count the results of open primary states. 

The Democratic Party should conduct its own primaries, by mail in ballots exclusively from registered Democrats who have been registered as such from January 1st of the year of the nomination.   That would remove state legislatures and their attempts to sand-bag the Democratic Party and possible manipulation by any candidate or campaign apparatus of the nomination process.  The National Conference of State Legislatures list of advantages and disadvantages are worth considering in this regard.  The experience of Washington State should be considered.  All in all, the experience of states which have tried it show that it can increase turnout which should be considered a sacred goal of the Democratic Party.   And, in light of the criticism of the NCSL about how the election material is written, THE KIND OF RULES THAT JIMMY CARTER PUT INTO PLACE FOR USING PLAIN LANGUAGE SHOULD GOVERN ALL OF HOW THAT IS WRITTEN.  It isn't any mistake that Reagan's anti-democratic administration rescinded those, obscurity is an enemy of democracy.

I think if the Democratic National Committee made those two reforms and raised the money to conduct its own nomination process it would insulate it from the kinds of problems which the past several elections cycles and their efforts have produced.  I will say that I don't fault Hillary Clinton for stepping in and taking command of the DNC, someone had to do it, though I also have to say that one of the things that I've learned in the past year is that some of her people should probably never have a major role in another Democratic campaign,  John Podesta***, brother of Tony, foremost. 

We need a clean start and a more broadly based leadership.  We also have to finally get the dead hand of the 19th century and the living manipulation of non-Democrats out of our party.  If we got rid of those, there might not be any question of a need for super-delegates to avoid disaster.

*  I'm sorry but I really can't find myself trusting anything they say in the magazine under its present ownership or leadership.  I won't as long as Vanden Heuvel or someone else so compromised as she is runs it.

As to this Action For A Progressive Future, I don't really trust a group that doesn't list who they are, who is funding it or who produces its publications.  For all I know they're a bunch of Putin or domestic billionaire oligarch whores who are just trying to screw us by exploiting the cry-baby lefties.

** I am certainly in favor of Keith Ellison holding his congressional seat, which was my main reservation about him running for the position.  The reaction of the Bernie Sanders dead-enders to that contest shows the need for leadership that isn't tied to either Sanders or Clinton and unless Perez shows himself to be excellent at the job such should be found.

*** If they can't figure out some way to make their communications hack proof, online, there has to be another means of communications found other than e-mails.  Probably the biggest lesson of this campaign was that the idea that there is private online communication is about as stupid an ideas as exists among the college educated elite.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Is This the End… of Trump’s Sanity?

Walter Brueggemann - The Alternative World of The Psalms

“What the Psalter gives us is a world occupied by God. The work of the Psalter is to populate our world with this character who transforms. And the world becomes a place of joy and duty, and joyous duty, a place of buoyancy and risk. But we itch to be left in a joyless, duty-free world that is noticeably short on buoyancy and empty of risk. But because we have entered this counter-world of the Psalter, we may decide differently. The people of this covenantal duty enjoy buoyancy and risk, are characteristically lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

I found what Brueggemann said about Psalm 46 to be especially resonant but my generator time is limited so it will have to wait till Central Maine Power reconnects us. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Did Trump Spot the Indictment’s Most Damning Phrase?

We aren't expected to get power until Friday, we'll see.

I will probably not be able to write a full post until then but will try to.

Until then, here's Keith Olbermann's next excellent commentary.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We Have Indictments. What Can We Expect Next?

Our power is still out except when I can get a generator hooked up.  I guess I should consider buying one.  Phone's out too.  Will post something as soon as I can.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

We're part of the large area of New England that is out of power today.  My brother brought his generator over just now.  I was surprised to find out that my internet worked so I'll try to post this explanation.   I'll write more when we get full power. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

On The Necessity Of A Separation Of Darwin And State, Of Telling The Full Truth And Other Things

Further fall out from my posts on the Broadway-Hollywood falsification of history through Inherit the Wind came in but I didn't really want to deal more with it while sick.  Why that one, relatively unimportant aspect of scientific culture, Darwinism, has come to have such a pseudo-moralistic potency among the pseudo-left is quite an interesting irrationality.  I have pointed out before that it was the conventional ultra-Darwinist John Wilkins claimed that the importance of Darwin to the anti-Darwinists was due to the destructive impact of Darwinism on religion. But the reality is far more complicated than ideological academics would ever want to deal with even if they took the time.  The assertions surrounding that have been, on all sides, more characterized by dishonesty and ideology than would lead to academic understanding that overrides extraneous interest.  In my reading of the literature surrounding the origins of that, it would be hard to tease out where the antagonism started but the Darwinists from virtually the first things written about On the Origin of Species used natural selection and evolution to attack religion, especially Christianity.  That was more successful in predominantly Protestant, scripturally centered cultures, such as in large parts of the United States and Germany than it was in places where the relationship of religion to a particular understanding of scripture as literal truth was not followed.  Catholics and even some Protestants without that view of scriptures accepted evolution and even some aspects of Darwinism with little to no damage to their faith while rejecting others.  Given that among the things so rejected by Catholics included eugenics, sometimes that was all to the good.   The extent to which any Christian adopted or accommodated itself to natural selection is probably a good measure of the extent to which they gave up the Gospel, the Torah and the Prophets.  The extent to which they ceased being Christian except in name.

And what you can say about religion, you can also say about the democratic character of political movements, political identities.  Perhaps even more so. 

The cultural map of biology and even science that a lot of us hold isn't unlike that famous cover of The New Yorker which gave a New York City resident's view of the United States in which pretty much everything past the suburbs of New York City is terra incognita until you get to the show-biz capital on the West Coast.  The absurd, obsessive focus on evolution in the popular, mid-even high brow population is quite remarkable considering that even if it did or didn't happen, there's not much we can do about that, now.  The record of Darwinists who have wanted to do something about that now is measurable in tens if not hundreds of millions of bodies of the murdered, bodies of the involuntarily sterilized, the lives of people blighted by assertions of biological determinism, the reinforcement of class and race and gender inequality.    In terms of human culture, Darwinism has been, as Ernst Haeckel said with Darwin's and Thomas Huxley's approval, beneficial to an aristocratic, privileged view of human beings, a promotion of inequality, destructive of democracy and, least of all socialism.  That is if socialism is understood as a means of obtaining economic justice instead of centralized, fascistic control.   Darwinism has proven to be entirely compatible with centralized, fascistic control of an economy.   In the past twenty years of looking into this, I think that will always be the tendency if not result of a strong belief in natural selection.  I think Darwinism, originating in the homicidal, degenerate economic theories of Thomas Malthus, cannot have those anti-democratic, elitist and ultimately homicidal aspects and tendencies removed from it.   It is productive of fascism, the rise of fascism coincides with a developed form of Darwinism becoming the predominant means of understanding life and human societies.  That is not a mere coincidence, Darwinism made a decisive difference in the cultures that bought it, it gave power to some already existing depravities and it created more of its own.  It was, itself, a development from the British class system and the 18th century "enlightenment" desire to be free of moral restraints.*

The accusation of any critic of Darwinism will be that they are anti-evolutionist, a creationist, even a young-Earth-creationist even when the critic has always accepted evolution as a fact.  That accusation is a result of ignorance, frequently, among people who are so ignorant of evolution that they think it was invented by Darwin, presented as the Henry Ford of biology.  That is a view of things which has been promoted by popular science since the magazine of that name was first published by an atheist ideologue to today when the BBC, PBS and the Discovery platform repeat that nonsense ad nauseum.   Darwinism is the predominant fundamentalist faith of the educated class of the English speaking people and many who don't speak English.  The pretense that natural selection is an adequate explanation of evolution, something which has ebbed and flowed and ebbed and flowed in the actual culture of biology has always been more ideological than scientific. 

To the extent which the orthodox view of evolution has only permitted Darwinist explanations is truly amazing when viewed from the outside.   It has meant that natural selection, always more of a vague assertion than a coherently defined "thing", has had to be made to mean anything as required by the facts.  To someone reading Darwin and the scientific colleagues whose view of Darwinism he, himself, endorsed, the assertions made about what he thought are incredible in their dishonesty.   The frequently encountered claim that he was anti-Lamarckian is a bald lie that is best shown as such by citing Darwin's own assertions of inheritance of acquired characteristics.   I have not studied, in detail, what Darwin's own most favorably cited Darwinists, Francis Galton and Ernst Haeckel well after Darwin's death had to make of that sea change in natural selection as Mendel's work in genetics was rediscovered and they could not deny it basically altered the status of Darwin's thinking but I do know that in the 1890s Haeckel derisively asserted that his friend Charles Darwin agreed with him that to accept the idea that acquired traits weren't inherited was no better than a Biblical literalist conception of creation. 

That reintroduction of Mendel's conception of genetics was, in fact, a crisis in Darwinism that had to wait till the 1930s and the neo-Darwinian synthesis which, today, is, itself, in crisis.  So much so that a not inconsiderable number of eminent biologists have attacked it and even declared it dead.  But through it all, the idol that is Charles Darwin has maintained its place as the focus of popular faith in science and the pious genuflection of all manner of scientists. 

Mine is an outsider view of these thing but an interested outsider who knows the extreme danger that mixing Darwinism and state has proven to be.  The death toll of Darwinist assertion in politics and the military in the 20th century is enormous.  Considering the genocidal consequences of natural selection imagined by Darwin, Huxley, Galton, Haeckel, Greg, and others whose view of his theory were supported by Darwin,  - all of which is easily read, in their own words, in full readings of their documentary legacy as published by Darwinists - to expect anything else from it was always absurd.  In one of his screeds John Wilkins makes resort to a citation of Kropotkin's pathetic band-aid to cover up that characteristic of Darwinist thinking "mutual aid".   That concept was always, from the start, a pathetically impotent attempt to deny the basic characteristics of natural selection, if that was the view of Darwinism asserted, it was a denial of the very basis of Darwinism in the struggle for existence which would leave many dead and which, contrary to claims, asserted the superiority of those who did the killing and survived the violence.  I can only think that those who made that claim wanted to keep the anti-religious potential of Darwinism or even to not ruffle the feathers of the rising academic consensus while being troubled by the very essence of the theory in violence and murder, social and economic and political inequality and the salubrious effects of continual violence and war.  Well, the history of the 20th century proved their patch up job was pudding-headed. 

I have become increasingly interested in the use of lies in academia and popular science and history, lies such as the one that denied the documentary record left by St. Darwin and those colleagues he cited with total support.  Wilkins is a good example to study because so much of his online writing contains those conventional lies, such as the denial that Darwin, himself, said that Spencer's Survival of the Fittest - the aphoristic definition of social Darwinism - was identical to Natural Selection - the very definition of Darwinism.  But he is only emblematic of that effort, the popular and even much of the academic writing on the topic is full of such lies.  And in this the academic-media Darwin industry is typical of a wider trend of lying, by both commission and omission and always in the interest of bending academic assertions to benefit ideological or merely conventional interests.  That kind of thing is as true of stuff in what gets called "science" especially in the life sciences and the pseudo-social sciences as it is in things put under the umbrella of the humanities.  In fact, I'm more impressed with the rigor and honesty of much of what is written as history than I am in much of what gets written as science, these days.  But you can never count on any of it being free of ideological motivation and the fear of peer pressure.  I think I see some signs of that cracking in regard to criticisms of Darwinism but it's just at the start and it will meet with the most severe of ultra-Darwinist backlash. 

I doubt that biology will really advance in a non-ideological conception of evolution until the theory of natural selection is declared dead.  It is hardly what Darwin conceived of now, if Margulis and Shapiro and their fellow critics of the neo-Darwinian synthesis are right, it's ever more remote from even a mid-20th century conception of it was.  I doubt there will ever be one, overarching explanatory theory of the enormous, enormously complex, enormously varied phenomenon of the evolution of species, I think the effect of natural selection will turn out to have been a tragic distraction from the fact of that enormous complexity and the even greater fact that only the tiniest fraction of evidence of the events and conditions which produced the fact of evolution will ever be available for human study and understanding.  The rest of it is making up stories which turn out to be mostly about the people who make up the stories, not the animals and other organisms they make up those stories about.   That isn't science, it's the creation of lore and creation mythology.  It turns out that doing that in denial of God can produce bad results that kill lots of people, just as they claim that doing it while believing in God can.