Saturday, May 19, 2018

Second Feature - Based on a story by Stanley Ellin - Specialty of the House

I can't find the credits. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Peter Whalley - The Test

Psychological thriller John Newland's life is turned upside down when an old murder case from 20 years ago; in which he was a suspect; is reopened. He now must take a DNA test and is terrified that his wife will at last discover the terrible and strange lie he has been living for 20 years. 

John Newlands ...... David Bamber
Sue Newlands ...... Denise Black, 
Mike ...... David Fleeshman, 
David ...... Seamus O'Neill,
 DI Musker ...... Craig Cheetham. 

Directed by Pauline Harris.

Modern Living, Bah!

Windows did an update on my regular computer that has really messed it up.  I'm on a borrowed computer so things are going to be a bit tricky for a while.  

I miss Windows 98, the last Windows that didn't seem to be a real mess.   How pathetic is that, an operating system as the good old days.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

As The Days Grow Longer The Simels Grows Wronger

I checked by doing a word search of my blog, the only time I have ever referenced "superman" is when I discussed the theories of Nietzsche and George Bernard Shaw and, apparently once in Ayn Rand's even more demented version of the pathological fantasy.  So, as always, Simels is lying. 

Interestingly, I did mention Lois Lane in a footnote once:

I remember one boring day when a number of the Eschaton gals swooned over how sexy Richard Dawkins was and the boys slobbered over Lalla, his then wife.   I figure people get to have the taste they choose (though atheists wouldn't logically be able to say it was a choice) but I always found Dawkins to be smarmy - nothing turns me off like a Brit Received accent.   Lalla Ward, I prefered the tough, smart Romana, Mary Tamm, sort of like I liked the original, tough cooky, Lois Lane.

The Civil War, Here And Now: This Country Is Committing Suicide Because of Right Wing Politics

They're saying that today's mass shooting in a high school in Santa Fe, Texas is the 22nd since the beginning of this year, we are four and a half months into the year, makes you wonder if we can expect at least another 22, assuming such incidents take the summer off.  

The insanity of the 2nd Amendment, passed to protect the slave-patrols of the slave power,  and the Supreme Court insanity that has extended it past where anyone had any belief that it extended, including the NRA before it morphed into Murder inc. a deadly brothel to get money out of the gun industry and Republican-fascist politics.  

The 2nd Amendment has turned the Bill of Rights into a death warrant for thousands more Americans than were murdered on 9-11 and the fascists are hell bent on keeping it that way and making it worse.  

The Republican Party is, in fact, at war with the American People, it is in every way an extension and expansion of the worst of the Confederate traitors only worse.   I think the whole thing was planned to destroy any hope of democracy and government of, by and for The People and for the benefit of the great, great grandchildren of the Confederate slave power and their allies among the Northern commercial class.   That's certainly how it has worked out. 

Amber's Minute Of Fury: Roseanne, Racist White People

Thank you Susan Sarandon, Nation Magazine, In These Times, you Republican-fascist enabling Greens, etc.

America's Best And Benightest

Not to mention the rest of what Bill Gates said about his and, disturbingly, his daughter's meeting Trump. 

I decided to post this because I just heard a story on NPR about the difficulties of getting uneducated, propagandized people in Pakistan and other such countries to take polio vaccines.    Remember that both Trump and Robert Kennedy jr. are both the product of rich families, private prep-schools and Ivy League universities. 

And Trump is the guy the Republican-fascists and international oligarchs put in charge of American healthcare policy, science policy, etc.

The Atheist Scheme of Probabilities They Substitute For God Isn't Dead So Much As It Never Lived

Ideological assertions that live by a resort to astronomically remote probabilities can just as easily die by a resort to astronomically remote probabilities when those become too astronomically remote to have happened in even a time frame of billions of years.  

When you add  the stupendous improbabilities of the unprecedented complex chemical structures generating living, reproducing organisms forming by random chance interactions of molecules outside of biological organisms to those vanishingly remote improbabilities of the physics that would even allow for chemistry to exist (or, rather, to multiply them) it looks like the current atheist faith in random probability is ridiculously improbable to have happened once in the entire time since the Big Bang.   You don't only have for it to have happened once in whatever huge number you imagine, IT WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE HAPPENED WITH THE COMPLETE SUCCESS REQUIRED THE VERY FIRST TIME AND EVERY TIME AFTER THAT.  I can't even begin to imagine how you would be able to calculate the improbability of that happening in the old atheist-materialist claims.  

I think you would need to resort to vectors that would wash away atheist-materialist ideology for that to happen.  Which is what I think the current, somewhat panicked resort of many  materialists to a faddish panpsychism is.  I doubt it will prove any more reliably durable than 19th century materialism when subjected to rigorous criticism.   

Just went to the bother of reworking that little post on abiogenesis I did last night to make my points easier to follow.   And I did check, it did get a lot more hits than most of what I wrote last week.  Why that is, I don't know.  I think my political posts are more important.  Life has to go on for any of this to matter. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Stupid Mail - These Asses Never Really Address Things, They Just Assert Attitudes

Other than the faith-holding that "abiogenesis happened somewhere" I don't disagree with the state of non-knowledge being asserted at the ol' soi disant "Brain Trust".  

How you can take a sensibly agnostic position on the competing claims that are entirely unsupported in evidence and then go to definitive statements about the origin of life on Earth is nonsensical  Not to mention any such definitive statement is obviously premature.  It's entirely likely that, at least in so far as how life on Earth started,  such declarations will always be premature, no matter how many jillions of years the question is studied  Without the actual resolvable remains of that first organism being found and definitively identified as such - and good luck with that, by the way - the origin of life on Earth will forever be unknown.   

Any definite declaration about the origin of life on Earth is and is likely to always remain a statement of faith, no less so than the various non-scientific explanations are.  Only it's generally faith that is constructed out of the fondest wishes of atheists.   They can't admit that they insert their faith directly into science but they do.

Personally, every single time I think about the problem for a solution out of random-chance combinations of molecules that somehow began to metabolize, 

- that somehow contained the internal chemistry to motivate it to reproduce for the first time, giving rise to the first organism that was the first one that was the product of biological reproduction, 

- that that happened perfectly the first time so as not to kill the original and/or its offspring AND THAT IT JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE HAPPENED ON EXACTLY THE KIND OF UNPRECEDENTED STRUCTURES AND CHEMISTRY TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN




. . . Well, I think there is every reason to suspect that you would need to have had some non-random CONSCIOUS, THINKING  BEING involved to INTENTIONALLY whittle down the incredible series of improbabilities for it to have happened within the past four billion years, and if not here, then wherever it happened.   

I suspect the only way to make the probabilities work within the known age of the universe four billion years ago is through some intentionality being involved.  Ideological assertions that live by a resort to astronomically remote probabilities can just as easily die by a resort to astronomically remote probabilities. 
I think, given those very real problems, that believing the traditional materialist-atheist faith in how it happened is far more far fetched than believing that God did it through intention. 

Now, Simps, tell me what's wrong with what I just said.  

Arthur Berger - Chamber Music For 13 Players

1.  Variations 

2. Allegro Moderato, Leggiero 

Columbia Chamber Ensemble
Gunther Schuller, conductor 

Disbar Giuliani And Cohen

I don't know how lawyers get disbarred in New York, considering how long it took for them to disbar Trump's idea of a great lawyer, Roy Cohn, the New York Bar will overlook a lifetime of sleaze and wrongdoing till they can't ignore it.  So I doubt they're all that interested in keeping their profession honest.  

But someone should consider getting the ball rolling in the disbarment of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen because if what they're doing can't get you kicked out no one has any reason to believe they aren't all a bunch of crooks. 

I don't know if lawyers in New York are unusually sleazy, there is certainly a lot of sleaze in the legal profession - a profession that has richly earned its bad reputation over the centuries.  I know there are lots of sleazy lawyers elsewhere.  But there is something about lawyers in New York that really stinks.  Maybe it's that it's the financial industry centered there, not to mention the ultra-sleazy New York media.  Only I don't think there's any maybe about it. 

Lawyers turn out to not be any more reliable in self-policing than the police or the financial industry are.   You do think they might want to hold themselves up to a higher standard, especially those who once made a living as prosecutors. But, no.  I wonder, is Geraldo Rivera still a member.   Eeewww!

Update:  Another example is Jay Goldberg warning Donald Trump that he couldn't trust Michael Cohen BECAUSE HE MIGHT TELL THE TRUTH TO PROSECUTORS.  Why it isn't a problem when lawyers advise the guilty with how to get away with their crimes?  Why isn't that something that should be considered unethical if not illegal?  Especially if they volunteer that advice on how to get away with breaking the law to a former client.  It's certainly sleazy. 

An Answer To A Man Who Thinks Abortion Is Evil But Who Didn't Like It When I Said I Don't Favor Abortions

I don't favor abortion because it is, largely, an avoidable medical procedure which, as all medical procedures, carries risks and expenses and uses up medical resources.  I don't favor any number of preventable healthcare issues in the same way.  I do favor the use of birth control for the same reasons I favor science-based, medically supervised vaccination. with the associated risks to that, it's better than the consequences of not using it. Few if any such comparisons will fit in every detail but I think that's one that is close.

I do favor abortion being legal, safe and readily available, as I do every other necessary medical procedure.

I have no idea if a zygote or an embryo or a fetus is a fully human life, there is certainly nothing like consensus on that.   Though there is the possibility of that being true and abortion perhaps being the taking of a human life.  But I also believe that the state's "right" to determine what happens in the body of any person is limited, that the right of a woman to choose to be or not be pregnant is not something that the state can be rationally or justly held to have an interest in that is superior to the right of women to make that decision for themselves.  And they will make that decision for themselves as the long history of illegal abortion, which continues in places where it is banned proves.   Short of the impossible to achieve world in which only wanted pregnancies which are safe throughout happen, the less than imperfect reality we really live in is what the law should be based in.

Where in the world did you ever come up with the idiotic idea that there was something liberalish or leftist about favoring abortion be legal?  Plenty of conservatives have had abortions or encouraged women to have abortions - including that most unlikely hero of the anti-abortion faction, Donald Trump, apparently - many used to favor the legalization of abortion, a number still do. And there are actually liberals who oppose legal abortion.  I don't agree with them because I think there are far more realistic measures that don't have the state impinging on the personal autonomy of women.  The right of the state to regulate what happens in our bodies certainly stops at the skin, in many cases considerably before then.

You know, I pointed out that men like you and, for example, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, countless TV and radio babblers and ranters who believe they have a right to say something about abortion that they think matches or surpasses a woman's right to self-determination in regard to her own body have a responsibility to badger their fellow men to avoid unwanted pregnancy, unwanted by both parties, not just by the men involved.  The anti-abortion movement, so full of men, should have always focused on the role that men play in abortion, being the cause of pregnancies that lead to abortions, not to mention sex that leads to STDs and so much else that is totally relevant but never focused on in the discussion.

You focus on women when you should be focused on irresponsible, selfish men.  I doubt there are many women who would not rather avoid an unwanted or impossibly difficult or  dangerous pregnancy if they could avoid it and the more fraught consequences of those, I have known many men who screwed around who weren't concerned about that at all.

I can think of lots, and lots of laws that could be passed that wouldn't impinge on men's' rights to self-determination of what happens inside THEIR OWN BODIES for months, if not a lifetime, that could discourage them from engaging in sexual irresponsibility that would probably help to cut down on the number of abortions, legal or illegal.  Many of them with stiff economic penalties and possible legal penalties for having produced an unwanted pregnancy of which they try to avoid the consequences that rightly belong to them.  You seem to be able to contemplate a wide range of such penalties for women who, unlike the men, are already burdened with the far more drastic results of such pregnancies, so you can hardly complain that I propose such penalties for the men involved.

Using the law to make abortion illegal isn't any kind of ban on abortion any more than prohibition was a ban on drinking and making pot illegal is a ban on pot use. Your position is in favor of the abortions which will inevitably happen will be illegal, dangerous and exploitation by criminals, organized and singly and hypocrisy all around.  Just like it was in the good old days when it was not uncommon for hospitals to deal with the results of such "pro-life" abortions on what was a routine basis.   The "pro-life" faction is actually in favor of making abortion illegal, exploitative, dangerous and deadly.   Many very real women will end up very much dead if they get their way, history proves that far more certainly than it proves their claims about the status of a fetus or zygote.

You decry abortions of "convenience",  there is no more widespread resort to convenience in this matter than among men who find it so convenient to not be the ones who have to face pregnancy in their own bodies and lives.

You bring up the use of abortion to avoid having children with health problems or the frivolously undesired biological traits - worldwide, ironically enough for your position - that of sex selective abortion when a male child is desired.  There are certainly better ways to try to discourage abortions for such reasons than to use the lives of women who decide they need to have an abortion for that purpose.  Funding government support for children and their families is one which I haven't noticed conservatives, like you, have favored.  Not to mention medical care for women who are pregnant.

Not to mention comprehensive education in the use of contraception and making it freely available, avoiding other problems that come with the inevitability of people having sex, not to mention making such things as genetic counseling universally available, as well as healthcare in general.

Men  who want to have a say in this should harangue men on the role they play in abortion, not women.   There has never been an abortion that wasn't the result of a man having sex that could lead to pregnancy.   

You started by claiming that pro-choice politics drove you from the left to the right, why doesn't the massive hypocrisy of the right on such issues not drive you out of it? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Arthur Berger - Duo For Cello and Piano

Luis Leguia, cello
Robert Freeman, piano

This piece never fails to move me to a state of ecstasy.   Yesterday would have been Arthur's 106th birthday.   I really miss him.   This is only the first movement though it's a recording I haven't heard before so I though I'd post it. 

Here is the entire Duo played by the great Joel Krosnick and Gilbert Kalish

On The Woman Calling The Cops Out For BBQing While Black

I didn't comment on the other recent story of a white-person calling the cops for people doing innocuous things while black, the women who called them out on a family peacefully barbecuing because I don't know if the person on the video - taken by a white-person - is the woman whose name is identified online as being her.  I worry when the internet posse identifies what are otherwise private people because there is no accountability for mis-identifying someone and possibly ruining if not endangering their life.  So I wouldn't participate in doing that.  I would feel uneasy if they got her name right.  

Do we know that they identified the right person?  

What the woman did, calling the cops because people were having a BBQ and how it escalated was bad, it risked turning what was probably an innocuous event into something that could easily turn deadly.  From what I saw the cop handled what was clearly a perplexing situation a lot better than a lot of others have, though some wonder why he didn't ask her for an ID.  

But, really, all I know is what was on the video so I'm not going to pretend I know more about it than what happened.  Clearly she was wrong in taking the card of the woman filming her and not returning it.  And, as said, her reaction to a family having a peaceful BBQ in a park was way over the top and irresponsible.   That said, the potential of the internet vigilantes to make it even worse is high. 

I did like the community response of holding a party.  That was nice.  Maybe they should have invited the woman to it and shown her there wasn't anything to be afraid of.  

Ben Shapiro's Spews BARRAGE Of Lies On Fox & Friends on Palestine

I've pretty well had it with Israeli governments of the past two-decades (not to mention most of the earlier ones), especially their Putin style corruption of our politics through their supporting liars in the United States.  I'm disgusted that an octogenarian pimp like Sheldon Adelson is buying off Republicans to get them to do things that lead to this week's entirely predictable and totally unnecessary violence resulting in dozens of Palestinians dead as they ineffectively threw rocks over the wall the Israeli government constructed, making Gaza a concentration camp which they are starving.

The American media is no where near as critical of the Israeli government as the non-media-whore media of Israel - thought I wouldn't bet on them continuing to operate freely if they start having any kind of effect on Israeli elections.

It's entirely time for the United States to start treating Israel like just another country instead of some kind of moral cause because it isn't one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Anti-Democratic Absurdity Of The Claim That Morality Has No Place In The Law

I suspect that Lolade Siyonbola's assessment of Sarah Braasch is correct.  Her assessment as heard on the recording of her exchange with the cops Braasch called to arrest her for sleeping in her residence hall while black, that she's nuts.  But at least some of her nuttiness is endemic to large numbers of educated people.   I read the Daylight Atheism article that was mentioned in what I linked to, yesterday and it's wacky.   I would have liked to read the other things Braasch wrote but apparently The Humanist magazine and The Freedom From Religion Foundation were shocked to discover that they'd published and posted some pretty racist articles that they've had up for years and, once this incident became public, they took them down.   You wonder what it was that they found objectionable now that they didn't catch then.  Talk about the effects of shining daylight on things.

So what she wrote that I want to focus on here is only available to me in a quote in Heavy,com article I linked to and quoted.   In that article Braasch was quoted as claiming,  "I am not infrequently verbally vilified for asserting the claim that morality has no place in the law."

That is a claim which I've heard other people make, it is one of the stupider holdings of the quasi-anti-religious, atheist, secularism that was made the law of the land by Supreme Court rulings, though I don't believe it was ever explicitly enshrined in any Supreme Court ruling.  I know it was an idea that was central to the thinking of one of the most absurdly and contrafactually adulated figures in the past century,  Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. as he attempted to make the law more scientific, or at least to make the law into a pantomime of the methods of science for the purpose of achieving predictability.
Science, of course, has, by nothing more necessary than common consent, been exempted from any considerations of the morality of what scientists do to find things out.  That is why there have been serious arguments about whether or not the Nazi's science derived from using people as experimental animals and murdering them should really matter, whether those moral atrocities should impinge on the status of that intellectual product.   If you want to read more about that you might want to look into the number of Nazis who worked in biological and medical science (see the debates surrounding the anatomical atlases of the Nazi Pernkopf' which likely used people murdered by the Nazis as subjects)* those who were involved in providing their fellow Nazis with propaganda in support of genocide and murder but who had no problem remaining in science after the end of the Second World War.   Or listen to Tom Lehrer's famous song about Wernher von Braun and how the United States gave him an honored position in science and technology though he was very arguably a war criminal.

But, getting back to the atheist piety that "morality has no place in the law,"  like the non-scientific non-sequitur formula of their scientistic faith,  “What science cannot discover,  mankind cannot know.”  the atheists not only don't believe in this one themselves,  they can't escape holding that position on the basis of moral assertions.  The very declaration is a declaration of morality.   Read the Daylight Atheism article in opposition to hate-laws by Braasch, herself, it is redolent with moral claims as to what the law ought to be, how it should be.  Consider this passage, identifying the number of moral assertions contained in what she claims:

Hate crimes legislation is stupid. Seriously stupid. Abominably stupid. I hate hate crimes legislation. But, I love hate speech. Hate crimes legislation has a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association. This is why hate crimes legislation is in direct contravention of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Let's start counting the unstated moral positions held in it, from end to start. 

1. It is a moral claim that the First Amendment should be followed in the law.  Not to mention that all of the individual parts of the First Amendment are, themselves, moral positions.  In order for it to be held that contravention of it is wrong and should not be allowed, you have to hold that moral stand.

2. It is a moral stand to claim that people have a right to free speech and freedom of association, it is a moral stand to claim that other people and the government have an obligation to permit the exercise of those rights.

3. It is a moral stand that the right to hate speech is superior to the rights of people to not be subjected to hate speech.  One which, considering the number of occasions that hate speech leads directly to hate in action is the moral claim that that right is more important than the rights of those who are the object of hate speech, up to and including the violation of the very same rights that Braasch champions for haters.  Not to mention, frequently, the right to hate speech is superior to the right of the intended victims to continue living.

4.  There is an overriding moral claim that what Braasch likes in regard to this is superior by some asserted virtue of  it being consistent,   It is an overriding claim that consistency has moral superiority - even though the consistency of the position is the product of willfully ignoring the results of hate speech in real life as opposed to legalistic, theoretical blather.

That could go on.  You could read every single claim made by Braasch in that article and see that, literally, just about every claim she makes as to what the law should do and be is based on positions of morality, though as so many such secular-amoralists do, they frame those as desiderata they can be reasonably sure their readers will agree with.

The idea that laws that govern real people, in real communities and societies, all of them possessing rights, moral obligations to respect rights, rights and, even more so, interests that will inevitably come into conflict, people who will try to enforce their self-interests even or, especially, at the cost of other people and groups of people, . . . can pretend to avoid making moral distinctions and moral positions is about as unrealistic a fantasy as has ever been promulgated among allegedly rational people.

One of the commonest habits that lead to the position of atheist-scientistic secularism is to ignore the complexity of real life in favor of opportunistically theoretical models of the kind so beloved of those who want to pretend that their preferred thinking has the status of scientific objectivity.   That so many do that now is one of the real and ridiculous achievements of pretending that human beings and societies are material automatons who can be governed by aping the abstract considerations of the regular operations of physical phenomena that constitute the legitimate subject of science.   But real life among real people is nothing like that.

I have come to think that Bertrand Russell, who gave that absurd claim of scientism and Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. were motivated in their thinking by their common habit of screwing around like tom cats.  I think that's one of the foremost motivations in the claims such as the one that the law should have nothing to do with morality.   I really can't understand how smart people like Russell or Holmes could hold such blatantly self-contradictory positions and get away with it among so many well educated people except that it is a pose to mask some rather base personal desires. 

Note:  I have before talked about the use of Oliver Wendell Holmes jr's legal writings by the Nazi criminal defendants at Nuremberg and the arguments that since the Nazis had made much if not all of their moral outrages legal so there was no legal basis for prosecuting them.   If Ms. Braasch's concept of expunging morality from the law became a reality, such legalistic arguments would lead to a world in which such as the architects of the Holocaust and the other genocides of the Nazis could not be held responsible because all they would need to do, in office, was to make what they wanted to do legal.  It could very easily happen here under the Trump-Republican-fascism that we have right now  

And the problem of it is far more extensive than that.  I would like someone who supports that atheist-secularist position to explain to us how a minority, such as the c. 35 % who support Trump could not be said to have a right to use their huge private arsenals to violently take over the government and turn it into a totalitarian fascist regime if morality had nothing to do with it. Democracy, even in its "liberal" form instead of its legitimate, form egalitarian democracy, is based absolutely in holdings of morality.  Without a basis of morality the very concept of law is a meaningless fiction masking the exercise of might makes right, government by the most ruthless and violent, a mafia state.  

* I have read arguments dismissing any moral consequences for those anatomical books based on the artistic merit of the paintings of the dissected bodies, that it would be some kind of violation of free expression to call their moral standing into question.  You have to ask why the  post-war editions that reportedly removed the Nazi symbols that the Nazi artists included as they signed their work was not also a similar violation of the artistic expression of the artists.  Clearly, artistic expression is a sometimes thing.  I think the idea that you can remove moral considerations from art is another of the clearly pudding-headed claims of such secularist amorality.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I Am Asked Why I Don't Make Money Off Of My Blog

To paraphrase Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, I don't ask strange people for money because I don't believe they would give it to me. 

If I thought they might give it to me and I'd never get awful ads for immoral purposes appearing on my blog, I might be tempted.  Oh, and I'd have to be reasonably sure that Peter Thiel wouldn't make so much as a penny off of it.   I loathe Peter Thiel and everything he stands for. 

Update:  Apparently Stupy is convinced he's a psychic.  He's no medium, though he is half-baked.  

Leo Brouwer: Sonata V - Ars Combinatoria - Andrey Lebedev

In Which I've Got My Doubts

You know that if she had been religious that  Sarah Braash, the obviously rather awful woman who called the cops on Lolade Siyonbola for the crime of falling asleep in her dorm's common room while studying while Black,  would have set off the anti-religious Wurlitzer on many a blog.

While the reaction of the cops at Yale is certainly open to reasonable question and, listening to the tape of the interaction of Ms. Siyonbola and the cops makes you understand how much damage the  accusations of doing anything while black  have caused, it is Braash who is the rightful focus of questioning.   She's had run ins with students of color at Yale before.

Apparently she claims to be an ex-Jehovah's witness who is now hooked up with the anti-religion racket, Freedom From Religion Foundation.  The most extensive claims I've read about her were in this piece, I'm reluctant to believe lots of it because most of the information seems to come from Braash, herself and it seems like a suspiciously full resume for someone her age.  So I'll focus only on this claim she apparently made for herself.

Braasch has also fought againt hate crime laws. “I am pretty much the only person I know who hates hate-crime legislation as little more than bald-faced thought-crime legislation. I am not infrequently verbally vilified for asserting the claim that morality has no place in the law,” she wrote in the 2010 article. In 2011 she wrote a piece on Daylight Atheism titled, “Be Careful What You Wish For (Why I Hate Hate Crimes Legislation, But I Love Hate Speech).” 

Her world view would seem to be more mixed up than if they made an ice cream variety made with the mythical Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans in a base of caramel and sewage.

I am not really very interested in the bizarre mish-mosh of ideological causes she mixes together in her own crazy but just to point out that if she'd been a Baptist or a Catholic or some other religious identity it would have set them going all over the place.  I haven't checked the atheist websites to see if they're owning her as they're always insisting that religious people do anyone who does anything wrong, even those who aren't of the same denomination or faith tradition.  But I've got my doubts.  I wonder how well she speaks French.

You Choose What You Believe Whether Or Not You Admit That, I Make That Choice For Egalitarian Democracy

This is a political blog dedicated to convincing people of what needs to be done to establish and maintain egalitarian democracy.  I would never have gotten involved with writing about religion except that in the last twenty years, looking back over my life in the American left, though never a Marxist, I have become convinced that materialism, atheism and scientism are fatal to egalitarian democracy and, as I found out well into my reconsideration, that only a religious concept of human beings as the inalienable possessors or rights and of equally important moral obligations to respect those rights in other people and to demand them for ourselves and our nearest and dearest ON THE BEDROCK FOUNDATION OF EQUALITY will be strong enough to overcome human ingenuity trying to rig and work things for personal advantage by infringing on the rights of others. 

I have looked and read and pondered and considered a wide range of materialist-atheist-scientific assertions about such things and I don't see anything in any of them which is not destructive of them.  Of those three means of considering such foundations of egalitarian democracy, science could have the legitimate excuse that scientists who write and say such things have stopped, actually, doing anything that can legitimately be considered science, dealing with things they can't observe directly or by indirect means that aren't subject to the most unscientific pollution by ideological and personal and professional preference being injected directly into the method passed off as science.  Materialism and atheism being the foremost of those ideological pollutions which are routinely introduced into such so-called science 

I have come to be convinced that a good part of what has been taken as "modernism" is, as well, fatal to egalitarian democracy due to the same orientation of materialist-atheist-scientistic ideology.  It has been pointed out quite a bit that what is very likely a large majority of the intellectuals considered to be modernists either harbor a deep and abiding affection for fascist, Nazi and various Marxist totalitarian ideologies and the actual brutal, genocidal regimes that were ongoing as those intellectuals gave them their support. 

In the book I've been excerpting for comments, Quest for The Living God by Elizabeth A. Johnson, she points to one of the differences which leads to that, the atheist-materialist intellectuals who, through their choice of atheism found that they were in a hellish cul-de-sac and who gave up, contrasting their declaration that life is absurd with those who made the other choice.

In mid-century Europe an interesting debate broke out about what this might mean.  Existential philosophers with a fierce commitment to atheism, thinkers such as Jean Paul Sartre, concluded that life is absurd.  The universe with its empty heaven endlessly frustrates human questing.   Since there is no ultimate fulfillment to our self-transcending, all our desires come to naught.  Held for a few brief moments over the void, human beings with all our strivings are the butt of a great cosmic joke.  Religious thinkers, to the contrary, contended that life is meaningful because an infinite holy God who is the surrounding horizon of human questing intends to be our fulfillment.  Whether it is nothing or everything that awaits, however, both sides agreed on the dynamic structure of human experience, which is oriented always to the “more.”

Which choice, followed through to the end of giving up and declaring life is absurd or of going on, do you have any rational claim would be more likely to produce egalitarian democracy? 

We know how Sartre and the intellectuals who took his part ended up.  As I've pointed out before even as the infamous mass murder and oppression and war on intellectualism was going on in the largest nation on Earth, China, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were using the freedom they posed as champions of to hand out handbills mugging for the cameras on the streets of Paris in support of Mao's mass murdering regime.   The mass murders were being reported even as they did that - yet they are respected as icons of liberty and human rights, doing something not at all different from what the fans of Hitler and Mussolini did.  The only difference I can see is that Mao's victims were not white Europeans, Hitler's were.   Yet Sartre and de Beauvoir and, in the United States the contemporary Maoist-Stalinist Progressive Labor Party are still held up by atheist intellectuals as heroes instead of the supporters of some of the greatest mass murderers in history.  I would include many of those who hailed the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. 

I accuse them of the most blatant of racism as well as hypocritically supporting an intellectual regime that is guaranteed to reduce people to expendable objects, raw commodities to be used and destroyed when not needed. 

You might think that's a leap but in virtually every case I have read of atheist-materialist-scientistic claims about human beings, our minds, our freedom (or, in their ideology, its non-existence) I don't see any alternative.   Go look at the self-proclaimed 'free-thinkers' and read how much they hate the idea of free thought, if you think that's far-fetched.  Without free thought democracy is a pointless delusion.  Is it any wonder it is in decline around the world as materialism becomes the default ideology?

The pretense that whether or not we believe or disbelieve is not a matter of our choice but of some kind of automatic psychological compulsion fooled me for a long, long time.  Ironically, it was the atheist  and pioneer of computers Joseph Weizenbaum who really opened my eyes when he said that scientists and mathematicians and everyone else is fooling themselves when they choose to believe that their beliefs are not a matter of choices they make.  They make their first choices of what to belief when they are very young, all of us choose to believe what we see, hear and otherwise experience, we choose to believe what our parents, siblings, teachers say (or we choose not to believe them) we begin to build up a corpus of things we have chosen to believe, some of them on the basis of an application of logical analysis, logic being another thing we have chosen to believe in.   And so it goes on until we choose to believe some very attenuated claims on the basis of their fidelity with our corpus of chosen beliefs.   That is as true of the most rigorous of thinkers in mathematics, science, history, the law, philosophy, etc. as it is the most credulous among us.   None of it is a matter of automatic happenstance, we are at every stage a part of that process. 

The cultural hegemony of what gets called science, from the most justifiably believed and reliable to the least reliable - so much of the latter in those pseudo-scientific attempts to treat human and other minds scientifically - carries some of the strongest compulsion in what people choose to believe because it goes along with their previous choices in what to believe.   The educational system and, certainly, the media and general culture have ensured that we all have a large stake in not questioning the declarations of scientists, even when the ideological nature of their claims could hardly be clearer.  All up and down the list of sciences there are those which are more and those which are less prone to those most unscientific of practices but most people choose to accept that whatever is called science is not to be too rigorously questioned. 

I choose to believe that the religious side of the argument that Elizabeth Johnson briefly described is the last, best hope of egalitarian democracy and in my study of the Jewish-Christian and, far less, so far, Islamic religious traditions I have come to believe that itself carries persuasive arguments that they are right.   I mean, look at Sartre and de Beauvoir handing out leaflets for Mao as he and his fanatical followers were murdering people and Western intellectuals holding them up as heroes of freedom, a freedom which Sartre's own writing dismissed and their atheism eroded.  It's hardly the only attack on egalitarian democracy, vulgar materialism, Mammonism, is as destructive if not more so because it's easier.   But I don't think they really are all that different.  You have to choose a totally different and open framing of belief in the potential of people to escape that. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Madness Of The Groovy Grans

I'll bet none of those Eschatots who got worked up over my dissing their idea of a great magazine - or rather their temporary pose of claiming it is - have looked at a copy for years and decades.   I'll bet most of them outgrew it as most people do.  I'll bet dopey hasn't bought one in ages.  

Stupid Mail - the expression of the disapproval of [Duncan's] Society itself

And many people say “I used to read Mad, but Mad has changed a lot.” Excuse me—you grew up! You have new interests. 
Sergio Aragonés: Longtime cartoonist at MAD Magazine

I'm being accused of some sin because I outgrew MAD Magazine many decades ago.  Apparently that's not something the rump of Eschatonians do.  

Or as Aldous Huxley put it in Chapter 6 of Brave New World:

I have the good name of the Centre to think of. My workers must be above suspicion, particularly those of the highest castes. Alphas are so conditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotional behaviour. But that is all the more reason for their making a special effort to conform. lt is their duty to be infantile, even against their inclination. And so, Mr. Marx, I give you fair warning." The Director's voice vibrated with an indignation that had now become wholly righteous and impersonal–was the expression of the disapproval of Society itself. "If ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre–preferably to Iceland. Good morning." And swivelling round in his chair, he picked up his pen and began to write.

Nothing new happens at Duncan's that's why the adults fled a long time ago. 

Update:  Really, can anyone who's familiar with the rump remnant of Duncan's once diverse and diverting comment community really say that anything said when Simps posted a small part of that comment at Eschaton was unpredictable?  If you just drew names out of a hat you'd probably have gotten at least 50% of them right.   

I really wish Simps would stay there and never mention my name or anything I wrote ever again.  Freki, too. 

On So Much Being Made Of The Invitation To Time Travelers To Come See Them Put Stephen Hawking's Ashes In A Cathedral Being Used To Goad Me

If they've got the ability to travel in time,  my guess is they're not that impressed with the best physics that the human species can produce now-a-days.  Maybe physics of that type has nothing to do with time travel.   How many physicists believe time travel is impossible due to what they think physics shows? 

Maybe they've gone through so many framings of how they think of the physical universe past the current human ones that they look at what Hawking did and say,  "Meh."    Or maybe they know his theories were barking up the wrong tree.  That's quite possible as they don't have physical confirmation for a lot of it and there's no prospect of getting it any time soon. 

Maybe they're mature enough to not want the attention and publicity.  Or, maybe they're there and don't want to call attention to themselves.   

It's kind of funny how they're putting the ashes of an man who detested religion to rest in a cathedral, that is if Westminster is still being passed off as a place of religion.  I mean other than the religion of Brit supremacy and nationalism.  I don't think I'd bother going.   I think the  whole story is kind of "meh."