Saturday, May 5, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Louise Doughty - Night Workers A Ghost Story

Set in the labyrinths of the London Underground. Roy and Dave are security men who walk the tunnels every night after the trains have stopped checking the condition of some lesser used tunnels.  One night they meet Edward, a courteous and curiously dressed man, who speaks in the style of a century ago.  

Eventually they realize that something odd has occurred. Time seems suddenly to have slipped.  Have Dave and Roy crossed over to Edward's side or has Edward crossed to theirs?  What has happened to the exits?  Will they be able to return to the surface, and, if so, what will be the year? 

Roy: Harry Myers
Dave: Daniel O'Grady
Edward: Robert Harper

I was tempted to just repost The Price in case there are people who come here only for the Saturday night radio drama but decided to post this. 

As a second feature I think I will repost this from one of my favorite living playwrights:

Hate Mail - Who cares?

Tell Ruth she can go soak her head, for one. 

A Mess Of An Article That Is, Nonetheless, Worth Reading

As the brawl here over the last two days has shown, simplistic views of historical reality tend to be incomplete, inaccurate, prone to falsification and, most of all, opportunistic fabulization.  I would go so far as to say that any attempt to draw up hard classifications of what the "left" and what the "right" have and do do is guaranteed to consist of that because, among other things "the left" has never been a monolithic entity that held even the most basic assumptions about reality in common.   As I've been trying to elucidate, the traditional American liberalism and the secular left, in many important ways have little in common and many inevitable points of tension.  It is obvious for anyone who cares to admit it, the ideological framing of the secular left is incompatible and destructive of traditional American liberalism.

I will assert here that there is a real and as unadmitted phenomenon on the right, between the vulgar, Mammonist materialism of market capitalism and any conservatism that asserts that it is motivated by the Gospel of Jesus, as can be seen in the scandalous fact that a huge percentage of self-described evangelicals have voted for the vulgar materialist servant of Mammon, Donald Trump.  Trump is a man so degenerate that even some secular conservatives who maintain the vestiges of morality and principle have rejected Trump's kleptocratic, treasonous depravity even as many religious conservatives have overlooked his multiple marriages, his flagrant and lurid adulteries, his massive corruptions and swindles.

The motive that leads me to restate that is this article in the Jesuit magazine America in which Aaron Pidel asks if Benedict XVI didn't predict this years ago:

More than 13 years ago, in a homily given at the conclave that would later elect him Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of a growing “dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” The urgent call for a return to truth-based religion, far from repelling the cardinals, distinguished Ratzinger as the frontrunner for papal office.

Ratzinger’s papal platform did not prove broadly appealing. The secular pundits of the last decade often ignored his warning as the scare tactic of a dogmatist unable to adjust to the benign pluralism of a world that had, in keeping with Kant’s rallying cry, “dared to think.” I doubt the pope emeritus has much energy nowadays to follow the many instructive ironies of the Trump era; but if he did, he might take just the tiniest bit of satisfaction in seeing not just the religious right but also the secular left denouncing a growing “dictatorship of relativism.” Ratzinger’s distinctive emphasis on freedom’s need for truth, in other words, may have come not too late but too early to find a bipartisan hearing in the United States.

Pidal goes through a case accusing the left, especially the academic left, in the promotion of that kind of corrosive relativism and, granted, the secular left and even many in the religious left who fell for those lines gives him quite a bit to work with.

He, though, does note that it is the Republican right, the right-wing media, legal establishment, who have rowed that scow ashore:

The irony in this evolution of U.S. culture, Andersen notes, is not that ivory-tower insanity failed to remain confined to the academy but that postmodernism took deepest root in the sector of society that is normally most suspicious of university elites. The new communication vectors of social media and talk radio, with their broad accessibility and immunity from peer review, accelerated the rightward movement of the belief that all reality is socially “constructed” to such an extent that “starting in the 1990s, America’s unhinged right became much larger and more influential than its unhinged left.”

As evidence of the right’s proclivity toward fantasy, Andersen recalls its many paranoia-based enthusiasms: fear of one-world government, gun-control fanaticism, seven-day creationism, climate-change skepticism and more. Perhaps the most insightful aspect of Andersen’s narrative is his conclusion that right and left extremes have now met: “Neither side has noticed, but large factions of the elite left and the populist right have been on the same team.”

That hard fact, that historical experiment with reality might lead Pidel to guess that his original analysis of the origin of that relativism has something rather drastically wrong with it, though I would say the problem isn't with the facts he draws on, it is that his failure to distinguish between lefts and rights that don't fit well within that simple model and disprove that models' adequacy to arrive at reliable truth.

There is some irony that he cites the very academic sources that he found so lacking in wisdom as declaring a new disenchantment with that relativism.

Examples of the secular left’s re-enchantment with objective reality abound. Professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University was perhaps the first out of the gate with his interpretation of Hillary Clinton’s defeat as “the end of identity liberalism” in a New York Times article in November 2016. Obsession with diversity has produced, he laments, a “generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined group.” Donald J. Trump’s victory shows that this has ultimately “encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored.” The way back for Democrats, accordingly, lies in recovering a rhetoric of the common good and a shared destiny. Though Lilla does not use the language of “natural” or “objective” morality, he presupposes their reality. For how can a good be common, or a destiny shared, unless it is somehow discernible by all reasonable people?

Just as a start, when in post-war history didn't "white, rural, religious Americans" NOT think of themselves as a disadvantaged group "whose identity is being threatened or ignored."  Only someone who has never much looked at the history of the United States could make that claim that that's a reaction to the "identity politics" of the last several decades.  I'd wonder how Pidal didn't manage to notice such things as the populist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, the white backlash that followed the all too brief Reconstruction period,  pretty much the rise of the formal Fundamentalism in Protestantism.

In the one place he mentions populism, it's today's populism,

As evidence of the right’s proclivity toward fantasy, Andersen recalls its many paranoia-based enthusiasms: fear of one-world government, gun-control fanaticism, seven-day creationism, climate-change skepticism and more. Perhaps the most insightful aspect of Andersen’s narrative is his conclusion that right and left extremes have now met: “Neither side has noticed, but large factions of the elite left and the populist right have been on the same team.”

though I don't disagree with the point that is made, in fact, it's the one I've been pushing relentlessly for a long time, that ideological, academic materialism has a lot in common with vulgar, market capitalist materialism even as it undermines and corrodes egalitarian liberalism.   As I've noted there is a well traveled, though very, very short road from various species of Marxism and even Socialism and the hard-right, that would be because those were never any more than a step apart.

I do have some very strong disagreements with what is said in the article though there is also a lot in it that I think is very well said and true and useful for understanding the world we are in today.  And why that world can't be allowed to stand or it will destroy democracy and likely us with it.

I think one of the most important things that might contribute to doing that is to admit that the religious left, when it is true to its religious convictions has a lot of common ground that can be made with more moderate religious conservatives, though the bedrock that common ground rests on is The Law, The Prophets and The Gospel.  I would guess that there are other religious communities that could be included, certainly many who would bring the Qur'an to the table.   I don't see any point with trying to include materialists because their fundamental ideology cannot be anything but destructive of the goals of such an attempt, materialism is the source of that very relativism that Pidel identifies as the problem.  I think it's far more basic than relativism, it's the Mammonism it is in service of. 

Do read Pidel's article, it is long and complex and, as I said, there is a lot to it even as there is a lot that is too simply put.   For the record, I've noted any number of times that arch conservatives though they were, Benedict XVI and John Paul II were far more radical than just about any secularist leftist on the issues of economic justice, Pope Francis is far more radical on that and many other vitally important issues, certainly on environmental catastrophe.  I'll bet you that there is little to nothing more realistically radical that issues from the upcoming Left Forum than the various documents that have come from the Vatican in the last five years.

MR phone home

“My favorite meat is hot dog, by the way. That is my favorite meat,” he told a gathering of supporters as they joined him recently for a casual dinner organized by his campaign. “My second favorite meat is hamburger. And, everyone says, oh, don’t you prefer steak? It’s like, I know steaks are great, but I like hot dog best, and I like hamburger next best.”

That, as Charles Pierce points out,  is Mitt Romney's attempt at speaking a human language.  Perhaps trying to sound like a normal person instead of a rich guy who builds an elevator so his cars wouldn't have to climb stairs. 

There are those who believe Mitt's going to run for president in 2020.   Mitt Romney is an amoral person's idea of a man of principle.   He being the first of those. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Stupid Mail

I guess it's official Eschaton is a collection of lying, trolling, idiots.   Duncan Black has become what Media Whores Online used to be about.   His mentor must be so proud of him. 

Mick Goodrick Quartet - Give It Up

Jerry Bergonzi: tenor saxophone
Mick Goodrick: electric guitar
Bruce Gertz: bass
Gary Chaffee: drums

I've got to get back to posting more music,  I am a musician, afterall.

Hate Mail - "Blah, blah . . your sky fairy . . . blah, blah, blah"

I don't and never believed in the god you opportunistically imagine is the only one people believe in.  I'm tired of this discussion and have answered it a jillion times.   You know damn well you don't really want to hear what anyone has to say about it so why should I write it again?  Here's what the theologian I'm currently concentrating on reading, Elizabeth A. Johnsonm in her book,  Quest For The Living God, said about your god:

Point of Departure:  Modern Theism 

There is a settled country from which the quest for the living God sets out in our day.  Inherited from recent centuries this view envisions God on the model of a monarch at the very peak of the pyramid  of being.  Without regard for Christ or the Spirit, it focuses on what trinitarian theology would call the “first person,” a single powerful individual who dwells on high, ruling the cosmos and judging human conduct.  Even when this Supreme Being is portrayed with a benevolent attitude, which the best of theology does, “He,” for it is always the ruling male who stands for this idea, is essentially remote.  At times he intervenes to affect the laws of nature and work miracles, at times not.  Although he love the world, he is uncontaminated by its messiness.  And always this distant lordly lawgiver stands at the summit of hierarchical power, reinforcing structures of authority in society, church and family. 

Without undue stereotyping, it is fair to say that this is the picture that prevails in common public discourse and in the media in western culture.  It provides the foil of modern atheism which denies that such a Supreme Being exists.   In a review of Richard Dawkin's book The God Delusion (2006), which sets out the case for atheism based on scientific materialism,  the critic Terry Eagleton perceptively noted that one of the main problems with Dawkin's thesis is that he envisions God “if not exactly with a white beard, then at least as some kind of chap,  however supersized.”  In truth, Dawkins did not spin this view out of thin air.  Such a superficial idea is taken for granted also by many believers, who see God as one particular individual in the whole of reality, even if the highest and most powerful.  That this invisible, greatly powerful, grand old man in the sky might not really be God at all is never seriously considered.  

The history of theology makes clear that this construct as we know it today came into being at the time of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European movement known as the Enlightenment.  This movement rejected the dogmatic authority of religion and tradition in favor of “enlightened” investigations of human reason to figure out how the world works.   In response, Christian theologians of the era also used rational arguments to defend the existence of God.  Before this time, theologians drew the idea of God from scripture, sacramental worship, and theological tradition, using philosophy to interpret and clarify certain points.  This kept them focused on divine incarnation in Jesus Christ and on the Spirit’s gift of indwelling grace as essential components of the Christian idea of God, which is trinitarian.  Now, however, to counter the Enlightenment's criticisms, they switched to the same playing field as their opponents.  Leaving behind Christian sources and adopting philosophical methods of thinking that sought objective knowledge about the universe on a rational basis,  they set out to shape “clear and distinctive ideas” about the divine.  Starting with the natural world,  they reasoned to the existence of God using a process of inference, thereby constructing a theology where God appears as the highest component in an intellectual system.  This all but assured that while God is a powerful individual above other powers in the world, he remains a member of the larger household of reality.  His attributes are deduced by a reasoning process that contrasts what is infinite with the limitations of the finite.  Thus, God is immutable (only creatures change),  incorporeal (bodies are the site of change), impassible (only creatures suffer), omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, in contrast to creatures who are limited in power, knowledge, and presence.  

The resulting construct is known today by the shorthand term “modern theism.”  In a fascinating way it comprises both the transcendence and immanence of God as honed in classical Christian theology.  Transcendence, or the otherness of God beyond all imagination, is cut short by bringing the divine within the system of coordinates of the world as we know it;  making all claims about the divine answerable to rational argument assures that in the end there is no lasting surprise or mystery.  Immanence, or the nearness of God beyond all imagination, gets lost in the univocal stress on divine difference; emphasizing the high position of the divine in the hierarchy of the world allows little room for indwelling presence.  The Enlightenment God worked for with good apologetic intent, led theology to miss the mark. 

As it trickled into preaching and personal piety, this construct became ever more simplistic, leading to contemporary Western society's characteristically trivial image of God.  In the 1960s a small ecumenical book entitled "Your God Is Too Small " laid out some of the popular images that carried modern theism into churches and into hearts.  People viewed God as a grand old man' or a resident policeman; or a tape of parental hang-ups; or a consummate churchman; or a managing director; or a dictator; or a disappointing protector; or a spoilsport.  Clearing the ground of these unworthy notions, the author J. B Phillips writs that if people “could see beyond their little inadequate god, and glimpse the reality of God, they might even laugh a little and perhaps weep a little.”  The result would be a liberation from the worship of what in effect amounts to an idol, something less than the living God masquerading as ultimate.  Flinging wide the doors and minds and hearts, people could set out to discover a God truly worthy of their lives.  

None of this is especially shocking to anyone who has looked at the literature.  Which is why she can cite a book from the 1960s to make her point.   Much in her book is a variation on that theme though much in her work is original so far as I can know.

Part of seeing the fraud the "enlightenment" is also includes seeing through the foolishness of ever trying to define God in terms that might work, to a limited extent, to describe some aspects of the physical world, though hardly all of those and not very well if at all things which don't easily fit into that methodology honestly applied and reported, but which could not work in looking for God.  That might make materialists and those with an unrealistic emotional need for scientific permission to believe in things that scientists have no proper right to claim falls within their professional realm angry or furious or scared that people will think you believe in unacceptable things and so suffer the slings and arrows of an insistence you conform or have cooties, but it changes nothing about the impossibility of science or rational discourse to evaluate it.   I look at those who cling to such a God so they can knock it over and I see a bunch of scared little jr. high schoolers eager to be in with the in crowd and eager to mock those outside as an emblem of their inclusion in it and I smile at their foolishness.  Your god is the god of fundamentalists and pious sentimentalists who are afraid of the God of life and prefer one they can put on a shelf under a bell jar to look at once in a while.

Hate Mail - Here's A Clue, Dopey, If You're Going To Cite Something To Make A Claim Make Sure It Supports Your Claim

I have been sent a refutation referencing the premier review by the New York Times reviewer Brooks Atkinson

Arthur Miller has written another powerful play. "The Crucible," it is called, and it opened at the Martin Beck last evening in an equally powerful performance. Riffling back the pages of American history, he has written the drama of the witch trials and hangings in Salem in 1692. Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today.

First, just how widespread is low reading comprehension among the Eschatots and other members of the online play-left?   Atkinson was clearly in communication with Arthur Miller about the supposed covert theme of the play, an allegory for the ongoing red-scare, otherwise how could he say

Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today.

He might have been able to know about what Arthur Miller intended because they obviously shared the same world, the highest rank of the New York theater community.   The third and fourth paragraph proves he had talked to Miller about that possible theme (see below).  Whether or not the premier crowd were uniformly aware of what Arthur Miller intended is more speculative unless there was some kind of announcement of it or publicity to that effect.   However, the premier crowd was likely a select one, so that might have been true.   And when Atkinson was talking about that audience, he was talking of about 1,292 people - the capacity of the Martin Beck theater.  But millions and millions of people have seen the play since then, I still say that, unless they hear someone say what it's "really about" they will think it's about the plot line of the play.   FOR THE LARGE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO SEE PLAYS, MOVIES, ETC. THE PLOTLINE IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT.   I would bet that there is a considerable percentage of the current audience has never even heard of the red scares of six decades ago.  Heaven help us, a lot of them, including those with college credentials with think it's an accurate representation of history instead of a fictionalized explanation of why it happened*.  The next paragraph in the review says:

But Mr. Miller is not pleading a case in dramatic form. For "The Crucible," despite its current implications, is a self-contained play about a terrible period in American history. Silly accusations of witchcraft by some mischievous girls in Puritan dress gradually take possession of Salem. Before the play is over good people of pious nature and responsible temper are condemning other good people to the gallows.

That would obviously support the idea that the plot was not supposed to carry "a case in dramatic form" some rather stretched parallels between the totally imaginary search for witches in the 1690s and the search for very real Communists, including actual spies for Stalin's regime in the 1940s and 50s.  He continues on:

Although "The Crucible" is a powerful drama, it stands second to "Death of a Salesman" as a work of art. Mr. Miller had had more trouble with this one, perhaps because he is too conscious of its implications. . . 

The only way Atkinson could have known that is because he talked to the playwright before he wrote his review, probably before he saw the premier.

. . . The literary style is cruder. The early motivation is muffled in the uproar of the opening scene, and the theme does not develop with the simple eloquence of "Death of a Salesman."

It may be that Mr. Miller has tried to pack too much inside his drama, and that he has permitted himself to be concerned more with the technique of the witch hunt than with its humanity. For all its power generated on the surface, "The Crucible" is most moving in the simple, quiet scenes between John Proctor and his wife. By the standards of "Death of a Salesman," there is too much excitement an not enough emotion in "The Crucible."

I've always had the impression that there were more productions of The Crucible than the far more intense Death of a Salesman**, perhaps because the central role of Willy Loman must be harder to play. I would imagine that actors would generally consider Willy Loman one of the great roles but I don't think John Proctor or the other roles in The Crucible are considered to be on the same level.   I think the extent to which Miller might have been trying to make points about the red-scare could be responsible for some of the dilution of power that Atkinson saw in it.  But Atkinson's review weakens rather than supports the college educated common wisdom on "what the play is really about."

*  Why Miller inventing a sexual affair between John Proctor who was 60 when he was accused and Abigail Williams who was 11 when she was one of the "possessed" girls is not a rather gross distortion of the actual history - perhaps even more of one than the invented three way sexual jealousy that Cecil B. Demille inserted into the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh - is something worth considering.  I am pretty certain that Arthur Miller did some research for his play, how that age difference and the total absence of any evidence John Proctor had even known the girl before he was accused by her escaped his notice would tend to skepticism that his research was careful or anything like adequate if historical accuracy was his goal.

Which is why I'm allergic to the use of historical persons and events in plays and movie scripts and novels.   Fiction should never be presented in a way that superficial, gullible people will mistake it for historical fact.   It's one of the great shocks of my adulthood that even people with PhDs - especially those in the sciences  and others who have never studied history - are prone to that foolishness.

**  Out of curiosity I looked to see if I could find if that were true and, instead found out that other than the fiftieth anniversary year of the great Death of a Salesman, none of Arthur Miller's plays showed up in the most-produced plays of the year lists.   There were lots of productions of crap plays on those lists and none of one of the greatest playwrights in the past century.

Update:  Imagine a production of the play that had a 60-year-old John Proctor accused by an 11-year-old Abigail Williams , a 9-year-old Rebecca Parris and other girls about the same age instead of the young adult women who usually play those roles.   Consider the dramatic effect of that historically accurate casting with THE AUDIENCE "KNOWING "THAT PROCTOR HAD HAD SEX WITH AT LEAST ONE OF THE LITTLE GIRLS.  An historically accurate casting would make it a play about pedophilie rape by a dirty old man, his wife knowingly shielding him on that charge. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I Couldn't Have Made It This Far Without Samantha Bee

Hate Mail - I'm Being Accused Of Hating Arthur Miller Because . . .

You couldn't be more wrong, I think Arthur Miller is one of the best playwrights of the post-war period in the English language, though his work is uneven - like just about every other person who writes more than a few things - and he unjustly got the reputation of being a spent force well before he stopped writing.   And I don't think The Crucible is a bad play, though it sets off my allergy to the use of actual historical events and episodes in theater and movies.   I especially love one of his lesser plays,  A View From The Bridge, but that's probably due as much to the excellent opera that William Bolcom wrote on it, I remember listening to a radio broadcast of it on earphones while I was weeding one glorious Saturday afternoon and finding it entirely satisfying as an opera.

I should probably have saved this underrated play  for the weekend but:

Thursday Radio Drama - Arthur Miller - 
The Price 

Richard Dreyfuss, Victor Franz 
Amy Irving, Esther Franz 
Harris Yulin, Gregory Solomon

It's timed more like a stage play than the usual radio play but I think it works pretty well.   I will point out that Arthur Miller writes an aging policeman and his wife as full, sympathetic people, not as sour, stereotypical anti-heroes.  As the dealer says when he meets Victor and Esther "There's only one  beauties in this  lousy line of work, you get to meet all kinds of people."   I think a lot of what Solomon says is the author commenting on what his line of work is, kicking up trouble as well as being sympathetic.  

Arthur Miller was a good playwright because he had a sympathetic understanding of people as real people, not as abstract theoretical or ideological types.  That's why I can imagine people will still be doing his plays as those of Edward Albee and Harold Pinter and even Tennessee Williams fade.   I think that's one of the reasons that his use of the historical figures from Salem doesn't work, you can't see through the characters in the play and their drama to get the "message" as asserted by the playwright.  I think the more clumsily written archetypal characters of Inherit the Wind don't work for other reasons, most of them ideological and the desire to distort history for an ideological end that the complex truth doesn't serve. 

Donald Trump Is Not Rebecca Nurse or Bridget Bishop

Recently I heard someone going on about how the Arthur Miller play, The Crucible, a play themed on the infamous Salem witch trials, was really about the anti-Communist campaign going on at the time Miller wrote the play.   In the same decade Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee wrote the play Inherit the Wind which was an even less historically accurate play "about" the Scopes trial but which, also, was supposed to "really be about" the anti-Communist hearings and trials and blacklisting that The Crucible was "really about".   Well, that might have been the intention of Miller, Lawrence and Lee, but I'll bet you that unless they were informed of the authorial intent not one in a thousand people who viewed the play would have gotten that.  Which, if having some effect in the real world of political and personal persuasion is the goal must count as about the dumbest means of getting the message across ever dreamed up by intelligent people. 

Since then the same covert message has been attributed to all kinds of stuff, high brow to the lowest brow of Hollywood c-grade sci-fi.   I have to wonder if that isn't some kind of post-production claim to try to gain significance for otherwise ephemeral trash or some dimwitted humanities scribbler who doesn't like to read hard stuff and think about it giving their love of trash some kind of academic cachet.   "Trashademic", if no one has come up with that term for the kind of scholarly writing about commercial pop-culture trash, someone should have before now.

I was thinking about this because I wondered about the etymology of the term "witch hunt" as used by Donald Trump and his white-collar muscle to discredit the investigation into their criminal gang and its possible relation to the use of the term to discredit the investigation into the previous attempts to subvert American democracy under the previous gangster regime in the Soviet Union.  I wonder if Arthur Miller had the ability to foresee how that idea was going to be used by the most criminal gang to ever hold power in the United States sixty years on if he'd have scrapped the idea of using the witch trials as a cover.

It is such an irony that Trump, the very man who delivered that great desideratum of the old commies of the 1920s-now, the subversion and destruction of American democracy for the benefit of the Russian mafia-state and doing it so successfully through the REPUBLICAN PARTY! is using the old term of 1950s commies to whine about those who are investigating his criminality. 

It took seeing how the idiots who are the current generation of the secular left enabling a series of fascistic Republicans, through the Green Party, through magazines such as In These Times, The Nation, and things like it being revealed that contrary to decades of such lefties swearing on the Grundrisse that the Rosenbergs were innocent to make me realize that those old commies were as admirable as the German American Bund and the various other American supporters of fascism elsewhere.  A lot of them were duped, especially those who were not communists but got suckered into feeling sorry for them on the basis of anti-anti-Communism, the red-hunter thing having gotten totally out of hand as a political tool of, especially, Republican-fascism of that era.  Things were always far, far more complicated than those facile "which side are you on" analyses claimed.

There were no witches in Salem, but there are enemies of democracy, gangsters who seek political control so they can steal and do the killing and enslaving and oppressing and mount distraction campaigns of paranoia, racism, sexism, etc. and no idiotic attempt to symbolize them with the innocent victims of late 17th century Salem should blind us to what we really are up against.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ignoring The Elephant In The Room and Why Michael Hayden Has No Credibility To Bring Back The Time of Truth

Through Echidne, I came to read Michael Hayden's New York Times opinion piece, The End of Intelligence, about how all falls to Hobbesian chaos in which only power matters when people don't distinguish between truth and non-truth, truth and lies.   There is certainly a lot in the piece that is worth considering how with Donald Trump "post-truth" has come of age and how with that fruition comes fascism.   I'd like to agree with more of what he says about the origins of this phenomenon, skimpy as it is.   I think this passage carries a lot of his argument, before I go into specific parts of it.

We in the intelligence world have dealt with obstinate and argumentative presidents through the years. But we have never served a president for whom ground truth really doesn’t matter.

For many Americans, this is not a problem. Last year, I met a few of them in the back room of a Pittsburgh sports bar where my brother had arranged for several dozen Trump supporters to meet with me.

I knew many of them, indeed had grown up with several. But we could have been from different planets. They were angry. They work hard, pay taxes and struggle to raise children, but feel neglected by their government. And Donald Trump is still their guy. “He is an American.” “He is genuine.” “He doesn’t filter everything or parse every word.”

They didn’t seem very interested in facts, either. Or at least not in my facts. Political partisanship in America has become what David Brooks calls “totalistic.” Partisan identity, as he writes, fills “the void left when their other attachments wither away — religious, ethnic, communal and familial.” Beliefs are now so tied to these identities that data is not particularly useful to argue a point.

Intelligence work — at least as practiced in the Western liberal tradition — reflects these threatened Enlightenment values: gathering, evaluating and analyzing information, and then disseminating conclusions for use, study or refutation.

I am a lot less impressed with the "Enlightenment" than Hayden is and certainly would question relying on the insights of David Brooks, especially the "both sides" equivocating "equal treatment" that doesn't identify this choice to not care if something is a lie or not where it belongs, with Brooks' and Hayden's Republican Party.   And I would certainly put a lot of the responsibility for that squarely on the areas of life which they value - what has happened generally in society is that the non-ethics of business and the amorality of scientism have pervaded the general way of thinking.  It is the decline of absolute moral standards which led us into this and it is something the ascendancy of which I would start in that very "Enlightenment" and its attack on morals as hard truths. 

That it is a man who has worked in military intelligence and then the CIA who wrote this is remarkable.   Neither of those two professions are notable for telling the truth.  Maybe they've told it to presidents or generals or admirals sometimes, but they're more likely to conceal the truth from the public in order to deprive We The People of information we would need to disapprove or stop their clandestine activities, to hoodwink us out of believing truths, as found convenient or in support of a generally amoral or quite evil campaign of violence somewhere, not rarely for the profitability of American corporations. 

The spy industry, in this case the United States' spy industry not only practiced purposeful lying, they promoted it through the American media, which is where people have been swayed to give up caring about the truth. 

Since the topic is Trump let's set out one very heard truth NEARLY EVERYTHING THAT IS IN DONALD TRUMP'S HEAD WAS PUT THERE BY AMERICAN TELEVISION AND HOLLYWOOD MOVIES.   Trump was created by the American entertainment industry, it created his public persona and image, it created him in the great TV-Hollywood glorification of businessmen and brainless frivolity and crass Mammonism during the Reagan years.   The first time I saw anything about Donald Trump, other than his name, was on the WGBH show This Old House in 1983.  The first thing I remember thinking about him and his Trump Tower were that they were monumentally vulgar, crass and a perfect symbol of the Reagan era and the Republican politics and the media which had lied us into him becoming president.  Whenever I hear a media figure, even those I might generally like invoking the name of Ronald Reagan to bemoan the depths we have fallen to under Trump, all I can do is shake my head because Trump is a culmination of the same forces that brought Reagan to office.

Considering the fact that Trump doesn't read, something Hayden notes in his piece,  is remarkable that a man who was the head of the CIA would mention television only once, and that once is a quote from the very mind of the man under discussion.

He defended his calls for the intentional killing of the Sept. 11 terrorists’ families because “they knew what was happening” and had “watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center,” something for which there is zero evidence.

He believed that because Trump's mind is a mind formed on American television, especially the deregulated propaganda led television that is the same source of the thinking of his hard-core, post-truth believers.  And every single thing that was put on American television was put there by choices made by the owners, producers, directors, writers and on-air personalities, it came out of them.  Remember the use of media and other propaganda by the CIA and military intelligence, such as in Iran in the overthrowing of the democratic ruler Mohammad Mosaddegh.  We are still living with the aftermath of that CIA use of lies to defeat democracy, just now in Trump's imminent destruction of the Iran deal, though the American Intelligence Community would seem to have realized that would be catastrophic, it's also mentioned in Hayden's article.

Trump and the Age of Lies his elevation to the degraded presidency of the United States symbolizes, has a much longer and far more complicated history though it is largely the product of allowing the media to lie, to blur the distinctions between a careful telling of the truth and the PR techniques of show-biz production in the enormous number of hours of our lives spent watching TV and movies and other electronic entertainment - the CIA and other intelligence agencies have certainly had their hands in that, the entertainment industry has always been a participant in selling lies and dissuading people of the truth and encouraging them not to care about those distinctions.   The New York Times has certainly been part of that, need I mention its bragging about getting legal protection for media lying in the Sullivan decision again? 

The general protests too much.  Maybe if he'd spent more time on moral theology during the course of his Catholic school education instead of concentrating on football and his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, he'd be able to discern that he doesn't have clean hands when it comes to constructing the Age of Lies we are now enduring.   But, then, he's also a man who has asserted that torture is useful as a means of obtaining the truth.   His current act as seen in this New York Times piece is a bit of post-truth, or caring about the truth.  Here's some hard truth from the Columbia Journalism Review.

ON THE SUBJECT OF DONALD TRUMP and his relationship with intelligence agencies, there’s one commentator you are bound to see quoted more than anyone else: Michael Hayden, the former NSA chief and CIA director under George W. Bush.

It doesn’t matter what cable channel you prefer (CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News), what talk show you watch (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher), or website you read (The New York Times, Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal), Hayden is everywhere, commenting on the day’s news, while inevitably being portrayed as Mr. Reasonable: a post-partisan straight shooter who will tell you How It Really Works.

But members of the media who play along with this fantasyland portrayal of Hayden should be embarrassed. Hayden has a long history of making misleading and outright false statements, and by the estimation of many lawyers, likely committed countless felonies during the Bush administration. It is something of a wonder that someone responsible for so many reprehensible acts is now considered a totally above-the-fray, honest commentator on all issues intelligence.

It’s easy to see why television bookers keep calling his phone. Hayden smiles and tries to tell jokes (like when he “joked” about putting Edward Snowden on a kill list—so funny!), he uses clever turns of phrase (he called the NSA’s massive metadata surveillance program “dipping our toe” in domestic collection), and occasionally overshares about US intelligence activities (Comparing US and Russian cyber aggression, he said: “A foreign intelligence service getting the internal emails of a major political party in a major foreign adversary? Game on. That’s what we do.”)

These days, Hayden is the go-to authority on Trump’s on-again, off-again war with US intelligence agencies, and most recently, Trump’s discredited allegation that President Obama ordered Trump Tower “wiretapped.” No example could be more perfect to show what a fraud Hayden is.

Now, it’s clear Trump was living in his own warped reality when he falsely tweeted that Obama himself “ordered” a “wiretapp” on Trump Tower. But Hayden gets away with commenting at length on the topic with nary a mention that he himself actually did carry out a wiretapping program on Americans directly ordered by a president.

I would call your attention to the part that TV is playing in the reinvention of Michael Hayden.

Answer To Hate Mail From An Unexpected Source

It's not really worth answering.  But if you want to play that game . . 

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.   Revelation 13:18  KJV

Donald   6 letters
Joseph    6 letters
Drumpf  6 letters "Drumpf" being Trump's real family name before they tried to hide their German heritage. 

Now, how does that help you to do to the least among us as you would do unto God, forgive people, do to other as you would have them do unto you or sin no more? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hate Mail - ENOUGH ! You Don't Have To Take My Word For It Watch Netanyahu Promoting The Iraq War in 2002

Note his guarantees that there was an active nuclear weapons program in Iraq and his guarantee that the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein would have the most wonderful effects throughout the region.

No one but a total idiot, which Netanyahu isn't, though Bush II  was, would have believed that.   He was knowingly lying about that.  As he lied when he made links between Saddam Hussein and 9-11. 

The Israeli government was up to the top of its head in that as it is in the present attempt to drag the United States into a war against Iran, one of the reasons for that is because the invasion of Iraq enhanced the position of Iran in the region. 

I'm sick and tired of my country getting drawn into wars on behalf of the Israeli government.   Netanyahu is a war criminal, but one who the Israeli people have put in charge of the Israeli government for eleven of the past twenty-two years. 

Yesterday's informercial for a criminal and disastrous war with Iran AFTER THE RESULTS OF HIS LAST BILL OF GOODS WERE BOUGHT is way past the point when anyone should tolerate this any longer.

On Netanyahu's "TED talk" Informercial Selling An Iran War To An Audience of One, Trump

Benjamin Netanyahu, with his "TED talk" infotainment ad, clearly aimed at Donald Trump,  is clearly trying to start a war between the United States and Iran.  And with that, on top of the war Israeli fascists promoted in Iraq, it's time to consider whether or not we need to start pulling out our support of Israel.   I don't think that's going to be considered a radical idea when Trump gives the Israeli fascists what they want, it's going to be a matter of facing the fact that the development of Israel since its founding has been on a descent into fascism, dragging the United States along with it.  And it is unsustainable.

For domestic advantage, the fascists have harnessed the most fanatical and at times insane factions of the Israeli population, as fascist governments always do, resorting to the same politics of resentment that supports Trumpian fascism, here.  That they could depend on the United States supporting Israel on a "right or wrong" basis that virtually no citizens of the United States hold our own government in certainly hasn't helped things.  With that support, on which the continued existence of Israel as a state depends, their worst politicians have been able to gain power and hold it because those Israelis who know that this is unsustainable, fatal to democracy and, in the fullness of time, unsustainable have been drowned out by those who know that they can get away with murder with that support from the United States.

The war with Iran that Netanyahu wants will be an even bigger catastrophe than the one that the Israeli fascists and their supporters in the United States brought us to in Iraq.   It will blow up the entire region, I have no doubt that it could easily lead to the Israeli government using the nuclear weapons it has openly  possesses but not admitted to having.   It is the ultimate and irresponsible means of a corrupt government to hold power. 

It's time that the United States developed our domestic politics without pressure from foreign governments, the gangsters in Putin-land or anywhere else.  Including Israel.  The seven decades of support for the Israeli government holds no prospect for any kind of progress made in resolving the issues of justice for the Palestinian people that have been pending as long and every year makes it clear that Israeli politics have developed into the point where they will likely never again elect a government that will make peace with them. 

It's time for us to admit that the only prospect of the Israeli population giving up militaristic fascism is for them to understand that they have to make peace or they can't depend on the support of the United States.  Our own domestic pressure groups supporting the Israeli governments, which have been dominated by fascists for going on four decades, have got to be marginalized and investigated for the kind of collusion that the Trump campaign is under investigation for.  It certainly isn't a clear thing that such a process will ever bring peace, the mutual resentments on both sides run deep, largely as a result of policies of the past.

I do know that as time passes and, especially, if we get suckered into another huge and guaranteed disaster of a war, this time with Iran, American support for Israel will plummet in any case. Twice in two decades, that's not sustainable even if you entirely ignore the moral atrocity it would be.  The only good thing that might come about from it is that it might force our own establishment to finally admit the scope of the disaster that the Iraq invasion was.

I have written about the letter that a group of American Jewish intellectuals wrote in 1948 warning of the danger of Israeli fascism, transcribing the letter in full.   Here it is again:

New Palestine Party

Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed

 To the Editor of The New York Times:

Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our time is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Harerut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.  It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine. 

The current visit of Menachen Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States.  Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit.  It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segent of America supports Fascist elements in Israel,  the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character.  Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state.  It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character;  from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

Attack on Arab Village

A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin.  This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base.  On April 9 (The New York Times), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants – 240 men, women and children – and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem.  Most of the Jewish community was horrified by the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan.  But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of the massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all of the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the the general havoc at Deir Yassin. 

The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party

Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority.   Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions.  In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community.   Teachers were beaten for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them.  By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute

The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine.  They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity.  Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.

Discrepancies Seen

The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party.  This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs and British alike), and misrepresentation are means and a “Leader State” is the goal.

In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country  It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party;  and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.

Isadore Abramowitz,  Hannah Arendt,  Abraham Brick, Rabbi Jessurun Cardozo,  Albert Einstein,  Herman Eisen, M.D.  Hayim Fineman, M. Gallen, M.D., H. H. Harris,  Zelig S. Harris, Sidney Hook, Fred Karush, Briuria Kaufman, Irma L. Lindheim,  Nachman Majesl,  Seymour Melman,  Myer D Mendelson, M.D.,  Harry M. Orlinsky,  Samuel Pitlick,  Fritz Rohrlich,  Louis P. Rocker Ruth Sager, Itzhak Sankowsky,  I. J. Schoenberg, Samuel Schuman, M Znger, Irma Wolpe, Stefan Wolpe

New York, Dec 2 1948

Seventy years of support for Israel right or wrong has led to the biggest disaster in United States foreign relations and military intervention in our history,  the Iraq invasion, a disaster that is continuing in Syria, among other places.  Considering the war in Vietnam, that's a pretty high bar to top.   Even if I thought that it should continue, I can guarantee you that it's not going to continue.  That's something I'd bet my life on.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Dennis Miller Has A New Job And It's Pathetic

Dennis Miller isn't funny, except when people like Sam Seder goes over his junk.  He lays more eggs than a factory farm.

I've been at the vet's with my old cat this morning so I didn't have time to write anything. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Good Study On The Age of Lies That Endangers Us With Two Criticisms

The interview Michael Enright did with Lee C. McIntyre about his most recent book, Post-Truth,  has a lot in it that is excellent.   Especially his tracing the practice of lying using PR principles and the mass media to move the campaign of the tobacco industry to sell denial of the fact that smoking causes fatal diseases and other industrial lie campaigns. 

He didn't go into extensive detail about how that was done.   He calls it "denial of science" but a big part of the campaign was and present day campaigns inevitably still involve them hiring scientists to either do research (writing articles for "refereed journals") or write articles or advertisements that look like articles. 

Science is only as good as scientists choose to make it and scientists have been given a pretty wide range of truthfulness within which they can operate and not get into trouble with their fellow scientists.  I think it's one of the most glaring mistakes in what we allow science to do.  Science which does nothing to prevent such liars for hire staying within the profession of science is an intrinsic part of it.   That isn't something that couldn't be fixed by changing the way scientists operate, entirely too much has been done on an especially lax honors system among people who consider their professions to be exempt from morality.  Honor doesn't exist where morality is excluded, ironically the biggest lapse of that honor is in the willingness to fudge truth or, in short, to lie.

I also think he misidentifies the skepticism against the GMO industry as something similar "from the left".   The quality of testing of organisms by manipulating their genes is not all one thing, one such altered line of organisms might be, in fact, innocuous and another one might be entirely not innocuous, even catastrophic.  A real question is whether or not the same science which has a financial interest in the GMO industry  can be trusted to be honest about that safety.   I would assume it is scientists who have such a monetary and professional interest who review the papers on the subject, claims of their products safe,  The review and pretend -review of papers is generally done by people who may well be too comfortably within the tight knit club of their specialty.   And it's a real issue if such organisms released in the wild will not have an undesired and unintended effect on naturally occuring lines of organisms, perhaps devastating effects.   One of those effects has been used by Monsanto to claim a proprietary right over seed crops which have become polluted with their GMO genomes, unbeknown to farmers.  And courts have agreed with Monsanto.  Such a regime of court rulings could create an effective monopoly of GMO corporations over our entire food industry, the stupidity or, more honestly, venality of that line of rulings couldn't be more obvious.  That corruption of the law is embedded in the culture of the law quite as fully as the propensity to fudge the truth is in the review habits of science.

People who believed the tobacco industry didn't believe the propaganda on the basis of a complex appreciation of the issues - no one who had a wider knowledge of that could possibly have really believed that tobacco is innocuous.   People who are skeptical of the GMO industry are likely to know more about the issues and possible risks of that.   That makes the one very unlike the other.


But I think, overall, that McIntyre's long interview is worth listening to.

Most of what he talks about, though, isn't in any way ambiguous, it is about intentional lying and the exploitation of some of the widely spread weaknesses of people, believing what they want to be true, believing things that appeal to their bigotry or prejudices or even their unconsidered habits, things that appeal to a prejudice in favor of pretty people over homely people, sex appeal, etc.

A lot of what he says is wrong really is founded on nothing more complex than judges and justices, as a group have biases that favor the people who can lie most effectively, who have the resources to hire scientists to tell them how to deceive the public most effectively.   McIntyre doesn't want to draw bright lines as to what is true and what is a lie, though we can't allow those kinds of ambiguities to maintain this age of lies we are in because the belief in lies will destroy egalitarian democracy and government of, by and for The People. 

A generalized acceptance of lies isn't just a danger to democracy and justice it is what destroys them as certainly as lies are the stock and trad of all con men and criminals.   I've written a bit, recently as to how identifying anti-democratic government, not with their pretended ideologies but with the practices of criminals is the way to clarity and I think it is.   If for no other reason McIntyre's citation of the murderous mendacity of  corporate crime, the tobacco industry, is an excellent way to start and a far more honest and effective means of understanding the problem.   In protecting ourselves and our democracy, one of the things we have to do is differentiate between corporations that don't possess natural rights and people corporations prey on.  And that there is all the world between lies and truth, and that courts can't be allowed to pretend not to be able to tell the difference. 

The White House Correspondents Exposed As The Cheap Tramps They Are

Never heard of Michelle Wolf before,  haven't heard her yet, didn't think anything I read she said at the Correspondents Dinner was funny - maybe her comedy is a matter of timing? I'll listen to it when I have time - but I can say that I'm a fan.   I'm a fan because she brutally put the disaster of the Trump regime and the regularization of lies and misogyny and bigotry and degeneracy which is the power structure in the United States in the face of some of those who are most responsible for driving the country into this state of degeneracy and decadence, the American media, the most powerful figures in it. 

I am also a fan because the White House correspondents’ dinner is exhibit A in the case against the corporate media, in which they party and make merry with the very people they're supposed to be covering, something that a journalistic community with any integrity would never do.  But our media has no journalistic integrity so they not only do so, they turn it into an annual event.  

Michelle Wolf used them like Trump used women, not physically but honestly.   And reportedly a lot of those present just hated it, not to mention people like Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the rest of the people that these "correspondents" were partying with.   I doubt I'd find her act funny, I don't much like stand-up except as done by someone on the level of Samantha Bee or Steve Colbert.  But I'm a fan. 

Update:  Finally got round to listening to the routine, it is a lot better as delivered than as read.   

Against Eternal Damnation And For Redemption: I Support Joy Reid

First,  if Joy Reid did post the things being called "homophobic" when she was a blogger in the heady days of the aughts and regrets it now, I have no problem with that.  I believe in redemption and the forgiveness of sins and even people learning their way out of anti-gay attitudes.   If that were not possible and real and important and dispositive no progress would be possible.  The possibility of people changing for the better is an essential thing for the validity of egalitarian democracy and the basis of trying to change things for the better. 

Second, it doesn't surprise me that anyone would have said the things she did at the time.   That kind of trash talk was practically required, speculating about whether or not people who took anti-LGBT positions were, themselves, gay, especially among people in politics and celebrities was common as dirt then.  A lot of it were things I didn't like, I've never cared for people using the language of discrimination even in the lamebrained attempt to hijack it and make it neutral.  But lots of people did and do.  The part of the population pushing for equality is way too small as it is, to exclude people merely on that basis would be ridiculous and counter-productive. 

Third,  I also have no problem with anyone outting any LGBT person who takes anti-gay positions or engages in anti-LGBT acts.   Speculating about John Roberts son may or may not fall into that - I don't know enough about him to know, but I certainly remember all kinds of rumors about John Roberts being thrown all over the place.  The fact is that there have been many Republican and conservative, anti-LGBT politicians and figures who were gay, some of them notably quite actively so, while voting for discrimination.  

Fourth, some of the things she said were not homophobic in themselves, noting that a majority of heterosexual people were, perhaps still are made uneasy by seeing two men kiss would be simply the truth.  That's one of the reasons that when it was done the first, second, third . . . times on network TV, when the first ads featuring gay couples appeared, it was big news and considered risky or brave.  It was praised in gay media because it was taking a risk.  

And Fifth, considering what white men have gotten away with attacking Black People, Latinos, Women, and, yes, LGBT people without having it destroy their careers, some of those people making a career of little more than that or having it be a major focus of their career,  what Joy Reid is accused of is next to nothing.   Considering what men have gotten away with and the backlash against the Me-too phenomenon that's being mounted, this is hardly equal treatment.  

This gay man and equality absolutist will continue to listen to Joy Reid and note what she says because she is one of the best advocates for equality in the media today.  No matter what she might have said in the past, it's what she's doing now that counts.   I don't think it would be at all fair to hold her to a standard others never or seldom are held to and as far as her work on TV goes, that's what she should be judged on.  I think if she felt those things in her heart, it would have come out in the spontaneous, unscripted shows she has done and I don't believe anything like that has come out.  I have never heard her oppose equality.  

As to the possibility of some of what she's accused of being the result of hacking, I don't know what to make of that.  I can say that as someone who has written several thousand pieces for various blogs,   I go back over the several blogs I've posted to and often find things I'd forgotten about.  A few I don't remember having written at all AND I DON'T ALWAYS AGREE NOW WITH WHAT I WROTE THEN.  Maybe she doesn't remember, maybe something is a result of hacking.  I don't know.  But I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.