Saturday, September 1, 2018

Why Hollywood "History" Is Dangerous Even When It Takes The Right Side - Hate Mail

Nothing could be a more sacred duty of scholarship, of history, of anyone who wants to touch on the period of the Shoah and the other genocides of the 20th century than to get the facts right. 

Hollywood never does.  It isn't in the business of telling the truth about anything, it is in the business of making money by telling stories in what those in control figure will make the most money by appealing to audience members, most of whom couldn't care less about the truth when they're watching a movie and being manipulated.  And that's a feature of the enormously expensive medium of the movies, no matter where the production is based or financed.

I haven't seen the "Eichmann movie" that's out right now, "Operation Finale" because I am so totally disgusted with movie "history" that the distortions in it would probably only make me angry.  The Nazis did what they did through mythification of history, through lying, through creating a romantic lie about history, it is beyond obscene for Hollywood supposedly giving an account of his discovery and trial and execution to resort to the same kind of mythification, though they got late to that party because the whole thing has been distorted through lies from the start.

Her name was Sylvia Hermann. Her blind father was waiting nearby.

They were on a hunt for evil.

When a middle-aged man came to the door, Sylvia gently inquired: “Are you Herr Eichmann?”

The man, at first, said nothing. He seemed startled. His strange reaction to such a simple question convinced Sylvia that he was Adolf Eichmann, the senior Nazi officer who implemented Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” — the systemic slaughter of Jews in concentration camps throughout Europe.

This extraordinary moment, described by historians in several books about Eichmann’s life on the lam following Hitler’s demise, is depicted early on in “Operation Finale,” a new movie about how operatives from Israel’s Mossad intelligence service captured Eichmann, who is played by Ben Kingsley.

But like other based-on-true-story movies, “Operation Finale” is filled with distortions.

Minor: A male doctor on the real capture squad became a female character in the film and the love interest of Peter Malkin, the Mossad agent who kidnapped Eichmann.

Major: The role of the blind man and his daughter.

Sylvia Hermann and her father, Lothar, are portrayed as good Samaritans to Mossad operatives pursuing Eichmann, who is living under the name Ricardo Klement.

On screen — and in real life — the teen is the perfect informant. She dated Eichmann’s son, who kept the family name, either out of sheer stupidity or deep reverence for his father’s accomplishments (or both).

I'll let you read the rest of it at the link.  Especially the distortion of the role of the Mossad is worth noting.   The Mossad, like all other shifty, shady intelligence operations are well experienced in lying and propagandizing to their own advantage.   The facts of how Eichmann was captured, tried and executed would make a great story but the right people and agencies wouldn't come out smelling like roses and all Hollywood crap needs a love (read sex) angle to it if reality didn't provide one.

And the list of distortions and fabrications in that movie are minor by Hollywood standards.

Lying about history has real dangers, the Nazi genocides, the genocides of Stalin, Mao, etc. were all based in lying and lying about history, creating it as needed to consolidate and exercise power.  Mythification. Hollywood has its own history as discussed here recently, starting with Birth of a Nation, which revived the major terror arm of American apartheid.  "Reality TV" has given us Trump.

It was fifty-six years ago that a major Hollywood movie, for once, famously told the truth, in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."   No one in the world with even a vestige of a glimpse of reality believes they really meant it.  Given the choice, they've been printing the legend continually, ever since.

Hollywood isn't alone, fiction and theater that treats historical subjects are almost uniformly a fabric of lies, distortions, polemical and ideological dishonesty.  Even the longest plays are too short to do the job of telling the truth.  It's rare they do history right, they should stick with making up stories about things that never happened based on invented characters who don't stand for real people in history.  The few times the "based on true. . . " stuff works doesn't excuse the many times it doesn't.

Update:  Stupy, I meant it, you're never going to learn anything before you go to your eternal remediation if I answer your stupidest efforts.  Come up with something substantial and I might post it.   I'm not going to encourage the stupid and trivial, that's what Duncan did. 

Words Contradicted By Acts Are Lies

One of the problems in reading the scholarship of the Nazi period is that the Nazis had an elevated sense of amorality that led them to being total liars and two-faced double speakers.  I think it will also be a problem for the, hopefully less absolutely necessary study of the Trump regime's crimes.   I'll leave aside the very real problem of the opportunity such scholars of the period find in the fact that you couldn't trust anything they said, David Irving used that and the general ignorance of the German language to pass off his stuff in English language scholarship for decades.  What you say about the David Irving style of polemical scholarship is ever more so for the writers of plays, screen plays, novels, etc. whose work is at best an unacceptable abbreviation of reality or permitted to be a complete lie.  Unfortunately, in the last two decades of reading what those with college credentials believe is real, the worst of that has the most persuasive power to defeat reality.

Every single thing that not only Hitler said but every single thing that his inner circle said, at every point, is very likely to be a lie, every statement that can and is used to try to exonerate them one or another of them can be totally belied by, not only other statements but, even more so, can be totally disconfirmed by their actions. 

Even after the war, during the Nuremberg trials Alfred Thoma, the lawyer of Alfred Rosenberg, the entirely and viciously antisemetic chief theorist and intellectual propagandist of the Nazis, hand chosen for that role by Hitler,  tried to twist the undeniable fact of Rosenberg's advocacy for genocide in Rosenberg's favor by making recourse to the fact that they were all a bunch of epic scale liars:

It was not a mere question of chance that Rosenberg did not take part in the boycotting of Jews in 1933, that he was not called upon to work out the laws against the Jews in 1933, 1934, 1935, and so on (expatriation, prohibition of marriages, withdrawal of the right to vote, expulsion from all important positions and offices). Above all, he never took part in the action of 1938 against the Jews, nor in the destruction of synagogues, nor in anti-Semitic demonstrations. Neither was he the instigator in the background who sent out, or ordered, lesser people to commit certain actions. To be sure, Rosenberg was a true follower of Hitler, who took up Hitler's slogans and passed them on. For example, the motto, "The Jewish question will be solved only when the last Jew has left Germany and the European continent," and once the slogan of "Extermination of Jewry."

Exaggerated expressions were always part of the National Socialist weapons of propaganda. A Hitler speech was hardly imaginable without insults to his internal or external political  opponents, or without threats of extermination. Every one of Hitler's speeches was echoed a million times by Goebbels down to the last speaker of the Party in a small country inn. The same sentences and words which Hitler had used were repeated, and not only in all the political speeches, but in the German press as well, in all the editorials and essays, until, weeks or months later, a new speech was given which brought about a new echo of a similar kind.

Rosenberg was no exception. He repeated, as everyone did, all of Hitler's slogans, including that of the "solution of the Jewish question," and once also that of the "extermination of Jewry." Apparently, like Hitler's other supporters, he gave as much or as little thought to the fact that in reality none of those phrases were clear but that they had a sinister double meaning and, while they might have meant real expulsion, they might also have implied the physical annihilation and murder of the Jews.

May I remind the Tribunal at this point that Rosenberg, during his testimony, made a reference to a speech of the British Prime Minister in the House of Commons in September 1943, in which speech it was stated that Prussian militarism and National Socialism had to be exterminated root and branch. No German interpreted that literally, and I believe no one interpreted it to mean that German soldiers and the National Socialism had to be exterminated physically.

Talk about your big lies.  Like Trump's lawyers as seen on FOX, lots of them feel they have a professional privilege to say anything no matter how huge a lie it is, how obvious their lie is a lie, how beside the point it is. The judges at Nuremberg made the right decision and Rosenberg was found guilty.  Though I am a complete opponent of the death penalty, Rosenberg is near the bottom of the list of hundreds of millions of others killed by execution whose execution I'll regret.  I'd think he's in the bottom 10 or 20 on that list.

In reading the OSS confidential report I'm in the process of posting, the thing that impressed me most strongly as something we need to take with the utmost seriousness as we face what makes Alfred Thoma's description of Hitlers propaganda method so chillingly familiar as Trump and the Republican-fascists are in control of the Congress and Courts, it is that the best evidence comes from what these criminals do, not what they happened to have said.

The Problem of Proof.  The best evidence now available as to the existence of an anti-Church plan is to be found in the systematic nature of the persecution itself. 

When their words become facts in actions is the only time you can have any confidence they're not lying. 

I will resume posting the OSS documents on Tuesday, after the holiday, because I think they're too important to get lost due to the usual drop off in readership over a long holiday weekend.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Four And Four - Strategies of Inclusive Hermeneutics

I took the time to type out Elizabeth Johnson's description of four assumptions and four strategies for opening up the Bible to women's lives and well-being from the video I posted a couple of weeks ago, mostly because I wanted to recommend them to someone but also I wanted to have them in a form more amenable to consideration.  So I decided to post them here, too. 

Reading The Bible From Womens Perspective

Over the last half century new generations of biblical scholars have emerged who interpret scripture with women's eyes, because most of them are women.  That is, from a perspective which explicitly prizes the human dignity of women and advocates for their well-being. Technically the methods they have pioneered are called "feminist hermeneutics"  from the Latin femina, which means woman and the Greek hermeneua (sp?) which means interpretation.

To interpret the bible through this lens one must begin with certain observations about the bible as a literary artifact and I will give four of them.

The first assumption one uses in this method is that for the most part the books of the bible were written by men, for men, from a male perspective and a in a social and political culture dominated by men.  That's almost not disputable.  And the texts reflect this patriarchal fact. They concern themselves primarily with the doings of men and they promote men's interests.

Second, the flip-side of this cultural reality is the texts pay little or no attention to women, regardless of the role women actually played in historical events, the story is told through the eyes of dominant men, which marginalizes women's experience if not overlooking them outright.

One incident that shows how this works is Jesus feeding the hungry multitudes on the hillside.  In Marks's gospel the story concludes, quote,"And those who ate the loaves numbered five-thousand men,"  end-quote. In Matthew's version we read, "and those who ate were five thousand men not counting the women and children."  Matthew chapter 14 verse 21.  "Not counting the women and children".  So the feeding of the five thousand was a lot more if you go by Matthew.

Now like those women on the hillside, the existence of innumerable women in the biblical story has been erased from the public memory of the written sources except when they were producing male heirs.  In the Bible we hear next to nothing about how the women of Israel or the early Christians discussed debated struggled with God, or found joy or comfort or challenge in their faith.  We get only a glimpse of their minds and hearts behind this veil imposed by the patriarchal shaping of the text.

The third assumption that feminist hermeneutics uses is that not only the original writing of the bible but the later history of the Bible continues in the hands of men within the patriarchal  structure of church and society.  Who decided which books were going to be chosen to be included in the canon or list of approved writings?  Who translated these texts into other languages who wrote the commentaries on the meaning of different passages?  Who preached publicly explaining these texts to lay folk?  All these interpretive moves through the centuries have been made from a male centric point of view.  And the result ensures simply, that a focus on men in the Biblical stories to the exclusion of women comes to seem entirely normal. 

So a fourth and final assumption women biblical scholars make is this, it becomes clear that the word of God itself needs to be liberated in order for  an inclusive world view in order to release its blessing for women.

Now, at times, or course good news for women does break through the biblical text.  Women are created equally as men in the image and likeness of God, we read, they are equally redeemed in Christ Jesus equally filled with the gifts of the spirit equally destined for life in the world to come.  In other words, women are beloved of God. But sociologically, you would never know this. From the little attention given to women in the text and the church that takes the Bible as inspired Scripture.

A principle that women scholars work with that helps liberate the text comes from the Second Vatican Council, The Decree on Divine Revelation.  The Council was discussing the fact that there are scientific errors in the text, at places, and also historical errors.  And they taught these do not have to be taken literally.   The Decree on Revelation says that "what is essential in scripture to be believed," and I quote, "Is that truth that God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation". End quote.   So salvation is the criterion.  And as with science and history, so too with culture.  Many women and men, today, do not consider women's' subordination to men to be the truth that God wanted written down for the sake of our salvation.  Therefore, we need to find a way of reading the scriptures that will release its liberating message. 

This calls for smart strategies that will interpret scripture in ways that are beneficial to all the members of the church.   And feminist hermeneutics has developed quite a few and we're going to present you just four and then work with them for Mary Magdalene. 

The first strategy . . .I call it the tip of the iceberg strategy.  The idea here is if women are in a biblical text at all, they must have been even more powerfully present in the original event, given the assumptions we've already looked at.   What we are dealing with in these instances are memories that are so strong that they simply cannot be erased even in the patriarchal retelling.  As you know with an iceberg they see ten percent of the berg and ninety percent is under water.  So, tip of the iceberg, there's much more in the event than we get in the text.  So whatever the texts report should be read as signaling even more significant activity by women at the time

A key example is Mary Magdalene and other women disciples at the end of Jesus' life.  They keep vigil at the cross,  they follow Jesus'  body to the tomb,  they go back to anoint Him on Easter morning, they discover the tomb is empty,  they are gifted with appearances either of angels or of the risen Christ Himself.  They receive from him the commission to preach this good news to the others.  You stop and think about it.  The men have run and hid out of fear.  I don't blame them, to tell you the truth.  The courageous presence and initiative of these women throughout the pivotal pascal events are foundational for the church.  They are the moving point of continuity through the text in all those scenes.  Without their witness, we would not know what happened. Their significance can hardly be overestimated.  So say, "tip of the iceberg"?

A second strategy is how to interpret absence.  If women are not mentioned in a biblical text, this does not necessarily mean they were absent from the original event.   They might have been but you can't automatically conclude that, you have to figure it out a different way.  As we've seen it was not at all unusual for a dominating perspective to overlook the presence of those considered of less importance and to omit them from the story that you're telling. We've already seen how Mark omits the women and children from the loaves and fishes story and if we had only his version we would not even see the uncounted women and children in our minds eye.  But their erasure is not necessarily historically accurate.

This strategy comes into play in the interpretation of the story of the Last Supper.  Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting has given us the picture of Jesus sitting in the middle of the table with the twelve men.   But remember this, throughout his ministry in Galilee Jesus hosted meals with the most diverse people sitting together at table as a foretaste of the Kingdom of God. Tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, Pharisees, lawyers, along with his own disciples, both men and women.

Since the Gospels note that the women disciples followed Jesus on his last journey up to Jerusalem and then they were present at the crucifixion the burden of proof lies on those who would argue that they were absent from this last meal of Jesus with his disciples.  I personally cannot imagine Jesus saying to the women, "Ah, you go on outside and wait while I come in here and have this meal with my male dis. . . " he just never was like that.

At least one evangelist, Luke, seems to assume the presence of women in the way he depicts the group gathered in the supper room, Jesus with quote "His own" which always meant all of them.  And in the way he recounts Jesus teaching there which implies the presence of a group of disciples larger than the twelve.

So, absence, what do we do when women aren't mentioned, right?

A third strategy holds that women should be read into inclusive words.  By that I mean words that are not gendered one way or the other. And scripture already does this by reading women into male gendered words.  For example, Paul writes, in Romans, quote, "All who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God."  He uses the Greek word "uioi" which means "sons".  But he's writing to the whole baptized community, not just the men.  Thus, women are to be included as "sons" of God.  With even more cogency, therefore, we should consider women to be included in words which are not intrinsically gender specific.  So we have words such as "apostle," "disciple," deacon," "preacher," "prophet," "missionary," "leader of house church," and "worker for the Gospel".   There are examples in the New Testament of women holding all those roles so we need to read them into those words when we see them generically.

This yields a wide-ranging picture of the participation of women in the ministries of the early church. 

A fourth strategy looks for the description behind prescriptive statements. Oftentimes rules are made to prevent a practice only because it is already taking place.  You don't make rules to stop something that isn't happening.   Thus a prohibition about women's behavior reflects the ideas of the men in the church  about how women should behave.  But such rules do not portray the historical reality of what women are actually doing.  For example, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, quote, "Let women be silent in the chruches for they are not permitted to speak but should be subordinate even as the law says," end quote.   Now, this text reveals what Paul would wish, interpreted with this fourth strategy, however, it reveals that, in fact, women were not keeping silent in the churches. They were speaking up, prophesying, preaching, and interpreting prophesy, since they too had been filled with the spirit of God.   The text is prescriptive, yes, but it opens a window to what women in fact are doing.   And let it be noted, we have no idea how the women in Corinth, in fact, responded to Paul's order.

So, these strategies, tip of the iceberg, interpreting absence, using gender inclusive words, and the descriptive-prescriptive distinction, these are some of the strategies that women's interpretation of the Bible is using.  It's turning women scholars into a kind of detectives, you get a detective idea that you have to dig in and figure out what's going on there that isn't immediately present on the surface.

Hate Mail - Eyes Wide Open

In my opinion one of the most dangerous racists in the United States today is Jewish, Edward Blum the sixty-something president of Students for Fair Admissions who is trying to make sure that not only affirmative action is destroyed for students of color,  apparently leaving it in place for the one group which has profited from it more than any other, white women, but working with and through the Republican-fascists on the Supreme Court, all of them gentiles, he is also trying to reimpose some of the worst features of American apartheid in his legal attack against the Voting Rights Act, compared to him David Horowitz and even Stephen Miller are minor figures in the resurgence of hard-core racism.  His button-down look of respectability makes him the David Duke of his area of what is developing into American fascism.

Those guys are not typical of American Jews who are far more characteristically supportive of equal justice, equal rights, opposed to racism and other forms of injustice.  Unlike my play-lefty enemies, I don't practice group guilt.

Update:  I've decided that you're never going to learn anything if I keep answering your stupidest comments, Simps.  Try harder to come up with something.  I don't have any intention of going the route that Duncan Took.

Update 2:  Simps, are you planning on doing an all geezer remake of Dumb and Dumber as a one man show? 

Dusan Bogdanovic and Miroslav Tadic, Rivers of Life, Rivers of Death

Dusan Bogdanovic and Miroslav Tadic, Rivers of Life, Rivers of Death (Reke života, reke smrti), recorded in 2003 in San Francisco. Being entirely improvised without any preparation whatsoever, this music could not have happened in any other combination or circumstance. Photo by El Gvojos. 

Back in the 1960s, inspired by the improvisational group that the entirely underrated composer Lukas Foss had started, I and several friends got together to see what we could come up with if we tried out some of his ideas.  I'd asked two friends who had a lot of experience with improvisation,  a jazz trumpet player and trombonist, the idea was that they could help us more classically trained musicians to learn how to improvise though not specifically as jazz.  All of us were young and very green and I, at any rate, was too fixed in my classical training to get very far.  The project didn't last more than five sessions.  I wonder if we'd broken up into duos if it might have worked better. 

From the confidential OSS report, The Nazi Master Plan Annex 4 The Persecution of the Christian Churches

When I decided to start posting passages from this document, I knew that what it said could be copied and pasted to provide a dishonest person fodder for lies and distortions but it's a mistake to allow liars to determine what you're going to do.  It is a very complex account even in this abbreviated telling, more complex than even most contemporary college-credentialed, TV-trained  people can seem to navigate.  It was a product of the pre-TV era, written by serious intelligence officers for the reading of serious people with serious responsibilities, not play-lefty blog rats.

Before posting this, I have to remind everyone at how, today, over and over again, as the Trump regime proceeds, Nazi style rallies and all, to break one law after another, one custom of government after another, of shocking long time journalists and lawyers and commentators and everyone, people are getting used to it, trying to adapt to it, even among the resistance to it.  We've seen that before in the Bush II regime after 9-11, which some compared to the United States' Reichstag Fire, only it's certain that that wasn't an inside job, though the opportunity the Republicans took to consolidate their hold on power and to wage war of questionable legality and justification were similar to the use that Hitler made of the fire his agents set.

It's certain that no one in 1933 had any idea yet, how far Hitler and his inner circle planned on going, how much of their fiery talk was just trash talking and how much of it was an indication of outrageous policy they would try to implement.  No one had any idea yet of plans they held close in secret and plans that hadn't been made yet.  Their policy on Jews was deportation - like Trump - their policy on the disabled wasn't their murder, in 1934 their eugenics lined up exactly with American style eugenics on which they had modeled their law.

Well after it became apparent that they were ready to start killing lots of people - Hitler's rhetoric became increasingly violent and explicit on that count during the 30s - major figures in science such as Charles Davenport and others were working with the German eugenics establishment.   As I pointed out many times, as late as April 1939, mere months before the official beginning of the Nazis mass murders, which the start of the war gave them their excuse to enact, the head figure of British eugenics, Leonard Darwin, was writing effusive articles praising German, that was Nazi eugenics for having turned things "in the right direction".   For all of the faults of Pius XI and others who tried to come to mollify Hitler in 1933, the date of the Concordat that wasn't worth the photons that you could read it with, they wised up to what Hitler was about a lot earlier than many who have gotten off on their part in encouraging them.  Lots of what American and British figures of science collaborated with Nazis on, right up to and, in the case of Americans after the start of the war, were the very things that the Catholic Church opposed them over.

And that doesn't get to those dear old commies we're all supposed to remember so fondly who, on the order of Stalin, as he came to his much later concordat with Hitler - not to protect anyone's rights, but to carve up countries between Germany and the Soviet Union - did a U-turn and started saying in 1938 what, by that time, the Catholics and so many other Christian churches realized you couldn't do, you couldn't trust the Nazis to keep their word for even a week, that there was no working with the amoral morally depraved Nazi regime, their first conclusions on that were the right ones, even as they had made a doomed effort to forestall the worst.  No matter how powerful the German churches might have been, they were no match for the power of the secular government which had the power to undercut them, gradually and systematically, exactly what the Nazis planned and began implementing immediately.  Their plans, after they won the war, were to destroy the Christian religion.   The situation in Protestantism, especially the Lutheran Church was even more complicated.  At every point, there were people who worked with the Nazis and those who opposed them, conducted resistance to them, even tried to assassinate Hitler while ordained ministers.

This first part deals exclusively with the Nazis attempts to weaken and destroy Catholicism as an independent entity in Germany.


The nature of the influence exercised by the Christian Churches varied considerably in the various regions under National Socialist control.  Policies adopted in an attempt to counteract the influence were correspondingly varied. 

A.  Policies Adopted in Germany Proper 

Persecution of the Christian churches in Germany proper gave rise to very special problems.  Since Germany was destined to provide the central force for the coming wars of aggression, it was particularly necessary that the German people be withdrawn from all influences hostile to the National Socialist philosophy of aggression.  This meant that the influence of the Christian churches would have to be minimized as thoroughly as possible.  On the other hand the predominantly conservative and patriotic influence exerted by the larger Christian churches was a factor of some positive value from the National Socialist standpoint, and insured those churches a substantial measure of support from conservative groups destined to play an important part in the National Socialist plans for aggression.  Persecution of the Churches in this region had therefore to be effected in such a way as to minimize their effective influence without destroying the capacity of the churches to fulfill their historic mission of conservative social discipline.  This could only be accomplished, at least the case of the major Christian churches by a slow and cautious policy of gradual encroachment.  

In accordance with this necessity, the Nazi plan was to show first that they were no foes of the Church, that they were indeed interested in "Positive Christianity," were very good friends of the Churches and did not at all want to interfere in religious matters or with the internal affairs of the different denominations.  Then under the pretext that the Churches themselves were interfering in political and state matters, they would deprive the Churches, step by step,  of all opportunity to affect German public life.  The Nazis believed that the Churches could be starved and strangled spiritually in a relatively short time when they were deprived of all means of communication with the faithful beyond the Church building themselves, and terrorized in such a manner that no Churchman would dare to speak out openly against Nazi policies.  This general plan had been established even before the rise of the Nazis to power.  It apparently came out of discussions among an inner circle comprising Hitler himself, Rosenberg, Goring, Goebbels, Hess, Baldur von Schirach, Frick, Rust, Kerrl and Schemm.  Some Nazi leaders or sympathizers, and some later collaborationists who were faithful Catholics or Protestants, such as von Epp, Buttmann and von Papaen, may have been left in ignorance of the real aim of Nazi church policy. 

The Problem of Proof.  The best evidence now available as to the existence of an anti-Church plan is to be found in the systematic nature of the persecution itself.  Different steps in that persecution, such as the campaign for the suppression of denominational and youth organizations, the campaign against the denominational schools, the defamation campaign against the clergy, started on the same day in the whole area of the Reich or in large districts, and were supported by the entire regimented press, by Nazi Party meetings, by traveling Party speakers.  As a direct evidence, the directives of the Reich Propaganda Ministry, if they have not been destroyed, would be most authoritative. If they have been destroyed, questioning of Nazi newspapermen and local and regional propagandists might elicit the desired evidence.  It is known that Hitler used to discuss the plans of his political actio with those members of his inner circle who were especially concerned with the respective problems.  Rosenberg Goring, Goebbels, Frick, Rust, Baldur von Schirach, Karrel, and Schemm are the leading Nazis who took a special intrest in the relationship of State and Church, (See Hermann Rauschning, in his chapter on Hitler's religious attitudes in The Voice of Destruction, and Kurt Ludeke,  I Knew Hitler.  Both witnesses, however, are to be used with caution.)

But even though the basic plan was uniform, the opportunities for carrying it into effect, and hence the specific policies actually adopted, differed substantially from church to church.  The principal churches to be considered in this connection are the following:

1.  The Catholic Church.  National Socialist relations with the Catholic Church fall into three clearly marked periods. 

a. The Period Prior to the Seizure of Power.  During this period the relations between the Nazi Part and the Catholic Church were extremely bitter.  As an opposition Party, the National Socialists had always violently attacked "Political Catholicism" and the collaboration of the Center Party with the Social Democrats in the Reich and Prussian governments, declaring that they could find no difference among the so-called System-parteien (parties which collaborated in the system of constitutional government).   On 8 March 1933, Goring in a speech at Essen summed up the Nazi attitude toward the Center as follows:  "Each time the red robber was about to steal some of the German people's properties, his black accomplice stood thieves' watch." 1 [Essner Nationalzeitung and other German newspapers for 9 March 1933]  On their part, the German bishops, stigmatizing the Nazi movement as anti-Christian, forbade the clergy to participate in any ceremonies, such as funerals, in which the Nazi Party was officially represented, and refused the sacraments to party officials.  In several pastorals they espressly warned the faithful against the danger created to German Catholicism by the Party. [See declarations of the German bishops on the Reichstag elections of July and November, 1932, quoted in the German press, especially in such Catholic papers as Germania, Koelnische Volkszeitung and Rhein-Mainische Volkszeitung.]

b. The Period from the Seizure of Power to the Signing of the Concordat.  During this period, the main concern of the new regime was to liquidate political opposition.  Their strategy was to convince conservatives that the efforts of the government were being directed primarily against the communists and other forces of the extreme left, and that their own interests would remain safe in Nazi hands as long as they would consent to refrain from political activity.  Immediately after their rise to power, therefore, the Nazis made unmistakable overtures to the Churches, and tried to convince the Catholic hierarchy in particular that after the dissolution of the Center Party and some Catholic orginizations of more or less political character, such as the Friedensbund Deutscher Katholiken, no obstacle could remain in the way of complete reconciliation between the Catholic church and the Nazi state.  The German Catholic bishops, influenced by the experiences of their Italian colleagues, whose relations with the Fascists under the Lateran Treaty of 1929 had been fairly smooth, accepted the Nazi proposition.  Pour parlers for a Reich Concordat started immediately. 

Meantime the Nazi government abrogated all laws and regulations of the Republic protecting non-denominational groups of the population and abolished the right to pursue anti-religious and anti-Church propaganda.  The Prussian government closed the so-called secular (weltliche) schools in which no religious instruction was given and re-established religious instruction in professional and vocational schools. [See Cuno Horkenbach, Das Deutsche Reich von 1918 bis heute (Berlin 1935, Presse und Wirtschaftsverlag GmbH) p. 66.]  All organizations of free-thinkers were forbidden.  When the Reichstag elected on 5 March 1933 convened, the government organized religious ceremonies for the Protestant and Catholic members of Parliament. [ibid. p 124]  

And in his speech before the Reichstag, to which he presented his government, Hitler declared:  "While the regime is determined to carry through the political and moral purging of our public life, it is creating and ensuring the prerequisites for a really deep inner religiosity.  Benefits of a personal nature, which might arise from compromises with atheistic organizations, could outweigh the results which become apparent through the destruction of general basic religious-ethical alues.  The national regime seeks in both Christian confessions the factors most important for the maintenance of our folkdom.  It will respect agreements concluded between them and the states.  Their rights will not be infringed upon.  Conversely, however, it expects and hopes that the a national and ethical uplifting of our people, which the regime has taken for its task, will enjoy a similar appreciation.  The national regime will conceded and safeguard to the Christian confessions the influence due the, in school and education.  It is concerned with the sincere cooperation of church and state.  The struggle against a materialistic philosophy and for the creation of a true folk community serves the interests of the German nation as well as our Christian belief." [Ibid. p. 133.]

Under such circumstances, the conference of German bishops, meeting as usual at Fulda, decided on 28 March 1933 to lift all restrictions imposed on members of the Church adhering to the Nazi movement. [Ibid. p. 146] This opened the door to mass adherence to the Party of practicing Catholics.  The rush started immediately.  All those German Catholics who were inclined to adopt Nazi political views and had hesitated only become of the anti-Nazi attitude of the hierarchy hastened now to join the victorious party of the "national revolution."  Former members of the Center Party's right wing, who had always advocated collaboration with the parties to the right of the Center and with the German nationalist movements established themselves now as so-called "bridge-builders" trying to explain ideological affinities between the anti-liberal charter of Catholic politics and the Nazi system. They insisted especially on the fact that the Church was guided like the Nazi movement by the leadership principle. [See the program of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Katolischer Deutcher, ibid., p. 426 and 504.  See also the declaration of Archbishop Groeber, ibid., p. 463.]  They were soon joined by turn-coats from the left wing of the Center and the Catholic youth movement, persons who insisted that the "socialist" and anti-capitalist character of the Nazi doctrine coincided marvelously with their own views on the necessity of social reform. 

In order to remind the Catholics of the danger of not coming to an agreement with the Nazi state, a certain amount of pressure was at the same time maintained against them.  A thorough job was done of purging Reich, state and municipal administrations of officials appointed for their adherence to the Center or Bavarian People's parties.  Former leaders of these parties, including priests, joined Communist and Social Democrat leaders in concentration camps, and the campaign of hatred against the "black" was resumed. [ See ibid., p. 186, 263, 268.] By April 1933 the bishops were making appeals for clemency toward former civil servants who, they pointed out, were not able to join the celebration of national awakening because they had been dismissed from positions in which they had given their best to the community of the German people.  And on 31 May 1933 a meeting of the Bavarian bishops adopted a solemn statement directed against the tendency of attributing to the state alone the right of  educating, organizing and leading ideologically the German youth. [See Persecution of the Cathoic Church in the Thrid Reich p. 516.  See also Horkenbach, ibid., p. 170.]  A few weeks later, on 18 June 1933, the breaking up in Munich by Nazi hordes of a manifestation of the Catholic Journeymen Associations (Gesellenvereine) became the starting point of a Nazi propaganda campaign against alleged efforts to keep "Political Catholicism" alive. 

Tension was mounting again when news that a Concordat had been signed on 8 July 1933 in Rome between the Holy See and the German Reich seemed to alter the situation completely.  For the first time since the Middle Ages the Reich itself had entered into an agreement with the Roman Catholic Church.  Moreover, the new treaty was apparently entirely to the advantage of the Church.  In return for the retreat of German Catholicism from the political scene, demonstrated by the self-dissolution of the Center Party [See Horkenbach op.cit. p. 275] and the synchronization (Gleischschaltun) of the Catholic press[See the Law Concerning Editors of 4 October 1933(RGB1., I 1933) p. 713] , an official guarantee was given the Church in the form of an international treaty, for all the church rights that "Political Catholicism" had fought or: freedom for Catholic organizations, maintenance of denominational schools, and preservation of the general influence of the Church on the education of German youth.  

Among the 33 articles of the concordat, 21 treated exclusively the rights and prerogatives accorded to the Church; reciprocation consisted only in a pledge of loyalty by the clergy to the Reich government and in a promise that Catholic religious instruction would emphasize the patriotic duties of the Christian citizen and insist on a loyal attitude toward the Fatherland.  Since it had always been the practice of the Catholic Church to abide by established governments and to promote patriotic convictions among the faithful, these stipulations of the Concordat were no more than legalizations of an existing custom. 

The Concordat was hailed by Church and State authorities as marking the end of a period of distrust and suspicion and the beginning of close and fruitful collaboration.  Hitler himself advised the State and Party officials to adopt a friendly attitude toward the Catholic Church and its institutions on German soil.  He expressed the wish that Catholic organizations, now under the protection of a treaty of friendship between Nazi Germany and the Holy See, should no longer be regarded by his followers as symbols of an effort to remain outside the national community and to form a way of life apart from the official line of the totalitarian Third Reich. [ Statement of 8 July 1933. Quoted in Nathaniel Micklem, National Socialism And The Catholic Church (Oxford University Press, 1939) p. 69.]

c. The Period Following the Signature of the Concordat.  During this period, relations between the Nazi state and the Catholic church became progressively worse.  Having gained the support of the Catholic hierarchy in the crucial early days of the regime by signing the Concordat, they took advantage of their subsequently increasing strength to violate every one of the Concordat's provisions, gradually stripping the Church of all its more important rights.  Specific instances of the various phases of this persecution are presented in Section V below. 

By 1937 it had become clear that the Nazi state was not to be appeased by Catholic efforts to accommodate the Church and the State in the form of a Concordat, and that Hitler's government had no intention to adhere to its part of the document.  Convinced, therefore, that the Church had been in error, in the face of the irreconcilability of its teachings with those of National Socialism, in abandoning its earlier opposition to the movement, the Church resumed its controversy with Nazi doctrine, while continuing to suffer from Nazi practice. 

The new campaign may be considerd to hae been inaugurated by Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical on 14 March 1937, entitled "Mit Brennender Sorge" [With buring Distress], which by underground means was spread by Catholic youth throughout Germany and was first published to the world in the original German text by a reading (21 March 1937) from all Roman Catholic pulpits in Germany.  Pope Pius XI denounced the violation of the Concordat by the Nazi state.  He described the actions of the Nazi government against the church as "intrigues which from the beginning had no other aim than a war of extermination . . . In the furrow of peace in which we had labored to sow the sees of true peace, others . . . sowed the tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, a secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and his Church, fed from a thousand different sources and making use of every available means." 

The support from the Holy See encouraged some of the German bishops, either in courageous sermons, diocesan pastorals, or in their collective pastorals issued usually from Fulda, the seat of their annual conferences, to protest vigorously against both Nazi ideology and practice.  Especially notable in this work were Cardinal Faulbaber of Munich, Bishop von Perysing of Berlin, and Bishop von Gallen of Munster.  Among the more notable protests were the Pastoral issued from Fulda on 19 August 1938,[Subsantial excerpts in English are to be found ibid, p 30-4/] and the fundal Pastoral of 1941, which was read from all pulpits on 6 July 1941, the Fulda Pastoral of 22 March 1942 and the Fulda Pastoral of 19 August 1943.[All these pastorals are certainly available in the offices of every German diocese.]  In spite of these protests, there is no evidence that the Nazis were in any way deterred from their campaign, in violation of the Concordat, to destroy the position and influence of the Catholic Church in Germany.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Nother Note

There are several passage of Alfred Rosenberg's putrid book, Myth of the 20th Century that the OSS document notes was second only to Hitler's Mein Kampf in influence in Nazism that I would love to post to add to the evidence given below but the only English translation of it I see online has an introduction by the translator as well as other features of it that I can only believe represent American-Nazi ideology.  I won't copy or link to it because, though the passages don't look to be a serious distortion of the German I don't link to present day Nazis.

Consider This One Long, Multi-Part Footnote - from The Nazi Master Plan Annex 4: The Persecution of the Christian Churches

After last night's brawl, in which I gave the URL to a pdf of the OSS confidential report, The Nazi Master Plan Annex 4:  The Persecution of the Christian Churches issued as a confidential document on July 6, 1945, I decided over the next several days to type out and post some of it to prove that even with the very partial record available to the highest level of the United States Government in the closing weeks of WWII, it was clear that the Nazi regime was not motivated by any aspect of Christian religion.   Since then so much more in the way of documentation of the anti-Christian character of Nazism has come to light but even what they knew then should have kept that other post-war distortion from gaining the currency it did under the promotion of it by anti-Christian academics, Marxists and Marxist-influenced scholars, and, we now know, the Soviet intelligence operation in Europe and North America. Again, remember that today there is, by many fold, more documentation than was available to the intelligence services at that time.  I will admit that a good part of my motivation was to show the distinct similarity between Hitler's propaganda and Trump's, from whiny appeals to a sense of aggrievement to paranoid insistence on a right to violence and ruthlessness on that basis, even the phony invocation of God, such as the one trump made to the pseudo-Christian "evangelicals" the other day.

Starting from page 4 of the report, 9 of the PDF  (footnotes will be given in scientific style within the text in square brackets). 

3. The Basic National Socialist Attitude Toward Christian Churches

National socialism by its very nature was hostile to Christianity and the Christian Churches.  The purpose of the National Socialist movement was to convert the German people into a homogeneous racial group united in all its energies for prosecution of aggressive warfare.  Innumerable indications of this fact are to be found in the speeches and writing of Hitler and other responsible Nazi leaders.  The following statements by Hitler may be taken as indicative.

"Every truly national idea is in the last resort social, i.e., he who is prepared so completely to adopt the cause of his people that he really knows no higher ideal than the prosperity of this - his own people - he who has so taken to heart the meaning of our great song "Deutscheland, Deutschand uber alles" that nothing in this world stands for him higher than this Germany, people and land, land and people, he is a Socialist!"  (Speech given in Munich, July 28, 1922, translation from Adolf Hitler, My New Order, edited by Raoul de Roussy de Sales, Reynal and Hitchcock, New York, 1941. p. 39)

"Even today we are the least loved people on earth.  A world of foes is ranged against us and the German must still today make up his mind whether he intends to be a free soldier or a white slave.  The only possible conditions under which a German State can develop at all must therefore be:  the unification of all Germans in Europe, education towards a national consciousness, and readiness to place the whole national strength without exception in the service of the nation"  (Speech given in Munich, April 10, 1923, translation from Hitler. ibid, p. 28)

"If cowards cry out:  "But we have no arms!"  that is neither here nor there!  When the whole German people knows one will and one will only - to be free - in that hour we shall have the instrument with which to win our freedom.  It matters not whether these weapons of ours are humane:  if they gain us our freedom, they are justified before our conscience and before our God." (Speech given in Munich August 1. 1923, translation from Hitler, ibid, p. 65)

"The conception of pacifism translated into practice and applied to all spheres must gradually lead to the destruction of the competitive instance, to the destruction of the ambition for outstanding achievement.  I cannot say" in politics we will be pacifists, we reject the idea of the necessity for life to safeguard itself through conflict - but in economics we want to remain keenly competitive.  If I reject the idea of conflict as such, it is of no importance that for the time being that idea is still applied in some single spheres.  In the last resort political decisions are decisive and determine achievement in the single sphere."  (Speech given before the Industry Club at Dusseldorf,  January 27, 1932,  translation from Hitler, ibid, p. 101.)

"There can be no economic life unless behind the economic life there stands the determined political will of the nation ready to strike - and to strike hard."  (same speech, p. 111)

"We National Socialists once come from war, from the experience of war.  Our world ideal developed in war; how, if necessary, it will prove itself." (Speech given at the Sportpalast, Berlin, on October 10, 1939, translation from Hitler, ibid, p. 759)

Although the principled Christian Churches of Germany had long been associated with conservative ways of thought, which meant they tended to agree with the National Socialists in their authoritarianism, in their attacks on Socialism and Communism, and in their campaign against the Versailles Treaty, their doctrinal commitments could not be reconciled with the principle of racism, with a foreign policy of unlimited aggressive warfare, or with a domestic policy involving the complete subservience of Church to State.  Since these were fundamental elements of the National Socialist program, conflict was inevitable. 

Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation by a complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion tailored to fit the needs of National Socialist policy.  This radically anti-Christian position is most significantly presented in Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century (one of the great best-sellers of National Socialist Germany and generally regarded, after Hitler's Mein Kampf, as the most authoritative statement of National Socialist ideology),  and in his To the Obscurantists of Our Time (An die Dunkelmanner unserer Zeit).  Since Rosenberg was editor in chief of the chief party newspaper, the Volkischer Beobachter, the Reich Leader of Ideological Training,  and the possessor of other prominent positions under the National Socialist regime. his ideas were not without official significance.  Thus in a declaration of 5 November 1934. Baldur von Schirach, German Youth Leader declared in Berlin'  "Rosenberg's way is the way of German youth." 1 [Cited in The Persecution of the Catholic Church In The Third Reich, (London, Burns Oates, 1940), p. 83]  So far as this sector of the National Socialist party is concerned, the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement. 

Considerations of expediency made it impossible, however, for the National Socialist government to adopt this radical anti-Christian policy officially.  Thus the policy actually adopted was to reduce the influence of the Christian Churches as far as possible through the use of every available means, without provoking the difficulties of a open war of extermination.  That this was an official policy can be deduced from the following record of measures actually taken for the systematic persecution of Christian churches in German and in German occupied areas.  

You can imagine I'm dying to make commentaries on the text, but I'll hold off on that.  I will point out that I doubt the idiots of the kind you'll find at Simels' home base will have any idea why the author of the document gave those quotes from Hitler in this context, they know so little about it that they'll be totally mystified even as they don't perceive the gradual development over the period the different speeches were made.  As the next section of the document proves, the exact timing of events and statements makes all the difference in the ultimate meaning of things.

Where You Start Really Does Determine Where You Go or Hey, Bud. Wanna Buy Yourself A Scientist?

Don't say that he's hypocritical
Say rather that he's apolitical
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department!" says Wernher von Braun

Tom Lehrer

The Nazis in promoting and planning and carrying out their genocidal programs, at no time gave their motivation in religious terms, certainly not in Christian terms, rather they promoted it through the scientific idea of natural selection and some pseudo-scientific theories of ethnicity based in 19th century pseudo-scientific linguistics.  As I said, reading the Wannsee documents, the actual planning documents for carrying out their "final solution of the Jewish question" forced the issue of why it was the very thing which the Nazis hated and which was one of their major targets for destruction, religion, has taken pretty close to the entire fall for it instead of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics which were what the "final solution" the Shoah was made out of. 

Even if the atheist-scientistic-mostly Christian haters hadn't assigned that blame to religion, especially Christianity but, in the most bitter of all ironies, Judaism, as well, it is an absolute certainty that religious figures, clergy, theologians, commentators would have sought long and hard to understand any guilt that religion shared in creating the conditions that led to the Shoah, self-examination is that most vital of human activities which finds its highest form in the Judaic monotheist religious tradition.  As Marilynne Robinson pointed out, all of the ammunition in the Bible which its enemies aim at that tradition is known to us only because the Jews who wrote the Bible practiced that high level of self-criticism and confession.   Christian theologians and intellectuals aren't exactly shabby in their practice of that, either.

As I pointed out, while religion has taken pretty much all of the blame for the Nazi's genocides done in the name of science, science has hardly even allowed the questioning of itself to begin.   As I've noted to stunned silence, when human beings invented science they, by mutual consent, exempted science from considering the morality of its actions and its ideas, that was done in the name of the quest for pure knowledge about physical objects and forces, even as, from the start, scientists sold their knowledge and skill to kings and emperors to make war and mount conquests and to kill lots and lots of people more effectively and more powerfully.  That is and has been as much a part of science as the legendary quest for knowledge, many of the adulated, idolized, even, occasionally, admirable figures in the history of science provided some of the deadliest products of science.  They produced the knowledge of how to make those while being the most informed people on the planet as to the possible ultimate consequences of what they were doing, all of them have more than a little of the Werner von Braun about them, including such figures as Einstein.

Science is dangerous because it works, it is more dangerous because it produces power and all the more so through of that exemption given to science by scientists in their invention of what would be considered to be science.   That exemption from questions of morality, good and evil is one of the most insane of unmentionable sources of danger in the world in the history of our species.  Science is whatever scientists say it is, its definition is entirely in their control.

Science's reputation as producing reliable knowledge, it's sometimes seeming omniscience can make it extremely dangerous when it doesn't work, when it works partially or poorly, especially in the over-extension of what is put under the artificial umbrella of science, not least of all when science impinges on questions of human minds, behavior, and it makes up genetic myths about human beings on the basis of ethnicity and gender.   From the pseudo-sciences of the 18th and 19th century, along with such scenario making science as is encapsulated in natural selection, all of the enormous genocides of the 20th-21st centuries got their start. And actual science, physics, chemistry, exempted from questions of morality, provided the pseudo-scientific regimes so much of what they used to kill tens of millions, to oppress hundreds of millions and numbers into the billions.  The Orwellian nightmare of the surveillance regime of the Chinese and other billionaire mafia governments is provided to them by science, for money right now, even as those have dropped the pseudo-scientific trappings of 19th century origins of those regimes.

Of course once you realize this situation one of the most aggravating things is the aura of moral authority granted to science and scientists when they would be the first to eschew those categories as having any right to impinge on their work or the work of their colleagues.   As with the trappings of corrupt figures of religion, especially those who exercise or aspire to political power and influence, the aroma of sanctity about it is a stench of artificial fragrance and poisonous synthetic chemistry. 

When it comes to a guy like Steven Weinberg (the atheist "bad religion" guru) it would be funny if it wasn't so disgustingly hypocritical.  I mean, I have documented that even as he is a critic of religion, blaming religion for the Nazi's in fact science based murders, his claim that it was all the fault of religion, even as he declares he - on the basis of his logical, scientific analysis of the question of morality - will admit to no moral obligations except to his family and his university department.  Considering the role that his science has played in doing things like making nuclear weapons, not to mention its role in conventional armaments design and construction, he's got no moral authority to make any kind of criticism.  None of that leads to anyone questioning him on it, for he is a scientist.

I wonder if Tom Leherer ever thought of writing something about that kind of hypocrisy but I'm not guessing hard.   My guess is even he couldn't recognize the issues involved.  He'd be too busy entertaining his audience with snark about Popes, I doubt he would even have read what they had to say about the culpability of Christians in the Shoah.  I'll bet Weinberg knows nothing about that nor the enormous examination of that in post-war theology, asking questions that religion started examining even before the Nazis started killing people in large numbers, even as religious opposition to Hitler was some of the little opposition that was mounted.  I would suspect that the man who would become Pope John XXIII did more to risk his neck to save Jews, I'll bet Pius XII did, than any Nobel Prize winning scientist.  It's not their department.

It matters, entirely, that religion takes on the work of questioning itself over issues of morality, of right and wrong and it matters entirely that science rejects even the idea that science should be impinged on by such questions.  And it is an insane difference, considering how much more powerful science is than religion, how it gets its goals accomplished, or the goals of those paying scientists.

Update:  I should have pointed out that when I use the term "pseudo-science" in this context I mean that the claims, made as having the nature of science, don't follow scientific method.  Though I'm sure physicists and chemists and even some biologists would have derisively rejected the nature of those linguistic theories as scientific, there were plenty of even very highly placed scientists in the 19th and 20th century who considered them science and based scientific claims on them.  The Darwinists certainly did.  You can read them either explicitly or implicitly using those ideas starting with Darwin, though he may have been copying Haeckel's use of them.  As I said, science is whatever scientists say it is.  Any scientists who objected to that pseudo-scientific linguistics being passed off as having the reliability of science should have spoken up with enough force to get it and any of the more official science that it was based on kicked out of the club house.  If they have the privilege of defining science, they have the responsibility of saying what doesn't measure up and they should have to live with their choices in that.  I'm not willing to cut them any slack at all.

While Hearing Alan Dershowitz On NPR Just Now

Alan Dershowitz is a Trumpian-fascist courtier.  He was always a wife-killer enabling, torture-excusing phony who played civil-libertarian* on TV.  Now his tendencies have come into full focus.

Alan Dershowitz is scum.  He always was.  Harvard is an establishment whore house, especially Harvard Law School, the cradle of American fascism.  

* The kind of phony-lefty stuff I mention in the post below. 

Heat Wave Thoughts About What I'm Doing Here

If you write a lot of pieces on diverse topics and present them to be read by anyone who wants to read them, you might be surprised by what gets the most hits or attention.   While it's nice to know what you're doing is useful or at least interesting to other people, unpaid writing will inevitably be a reflection of what interests the person writing it.  If they're serious, it will be about things they take seriously and want to investigate and express their conclusions about.  They'll occasionally make proposals for changes in things.  If they're not serious I don't really care what they're about except in so far as it impinges on important things.  Bertrand Russell said something about what a frivolous man thinks might be fun but it can't be important.

I remember back when they taught us the dumbed-down version of the Roman Empire when they talked about keeping the people passive with bread and circuses, it was presented as meaning by diverting them with distractions while keeping their bellies full.  But that political science analysis looks a lot different to people who are well fed and people who are hungry.  When it is a choice of bread or circuses, that changes everything.  We are about to find out what that difference is, it will make all the difference.   The American elite won't understand how that changes everything, I'm not sure if even the American underclass will see through the circus in time to avoid a bigger disaster than the one on us now.

As I've said  a number of times, when I started writing blog posts in 2006 my motive was to try to figure out why the American left, traditional American liberalism, had failed after the pinnacle of its political power in the Johnson administration and the United States has been devolving into the stage where we had, first Bush II imposed on us by Supreme Court fiat and then the different disaster that the Obama administration was - what it is looking may be the last legitimate presidency in U. S. history - and all of its hardly liberal restoration and now Trumpian fascism which a combination of Republican-fascism in the cabloid media, the Congress and the Courts are trying to cement into place so it can't be disloged except through the most drastic action.  If Democrats don't break the stranglehold that Republicans have on the congress in November, if even a Democratic congress falls prey to the Republican-fascist, Ivy-league Federalist-fascists on the Courts,  American democracy as we knew it is over.   

That, dear readers, constitutes a matter of the most serious import.   I'd feel justified in the theme of my blogging, with all of its wild turns and jolting bumps on that ground alone.

When I started this blogging stuff I was in many ways still a conventional college-credentialed, lefty-magazine reading lefty, though I'd started having my doubts about the effectiveness of that left because as soon as I started reading my fellow lefties online, I realized too many of them were conceited jerks who were as conservative for their orthodoxy as traditional Republicans were for theirs.  As we can see in the Republicans in the Senate, there are a lot fewer of those than pretend they are on Sunday morning TV.  The traditional Republicans to the extent they really believed in their version of American democracy have lost out to hate-talk, resurgent racist Republican-fascism but the lefties of the magazine-informed, campus centered religion-bashing kind - the ones I have concluded in the course of my blog based investigations did so much to end American liberalism - never really had anything to lose because they never really gained or exercised power. 

I will insert here that one of the first things I learned in this investigation is that the college-educated, snob left wasn't even capable of understanding the role that the free-speech absolutism they championed (as a goofy scheme to get power through commie propaganda) was the cause of fascist empowerment.  One of the few things I learned from such people as Duncan Black, though he's never really been much of a lefty.  

They got the mic of American liberalism from the effective liberals who did gain power and in the Johnson years made the greatest progress we've ever had, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - Congress of 1964-5 liberals, but the "real left" immediately started driving it into the ground.  Vietnam had more than a little to do with it, the escalation of a war Johnson got duped into expanding by the Harvard boys and some lying generals who skillfully played on the vulnerabilities of that most unlikely of giants of American liberalism, making him feel his uncouthness, his Southernness, his - though he was probably the smartest of them all - education at a small Texas teachers college instead of the Ivys.  His fear of the free press accusing him of "losing Vietnam" of weakness.  And there were the Kennedys trying to sandbag him to make Bobby president.  My  opinion of the Kennedy's and their court has greatly suffered in this investigation along with the Ivy league crowd, in general, right and pseudo-left.   I think of that generation Ted was the one who survived long enough to learn something from their mistakes.  If the upcoming generation of them have, we'll see. 

As you can see, my investigation has led me to conclude, it's all a lot more complicated than will gain you a large audience.   

Along the way I've been surprised at what gets read and what doesn't seem to be read as much.  The pieces that I'm most surprised when they fail to get lots of reading are those that came from a break-through in my understanding.  One of the earliest ones of those was a piece in which I understood the part that the free press played in a death in the Big Dig tunnel system in Boston and in other such disasters,  the part that a combination of talk-radio and anti-tax journalism on TV but in print too have in lying people into believing you can get what you refuse to pay for.   The last such piece that really shook my understanding was the one I posted a couple of days ago about the disparity in accepting responsibility for the Shoah between religion which was not ever mentioned as the reason the Nazis did it but which has been assigned almost all if not all of the blame and science and technology which provided the Nazis with everything from their motive in natural selection to their means of doing it to the efficient scheduling of trains to transport people to the industrialized-scientifically planned factories of death.   Why some of those pieces that get huge numbers of hits take off instead of the ones that seem to me like they're the most important is something I haven't figured out at all.  

If I wanted to dig through my old history of music books, I'd find the medieval musician who said "modern man loves brevity" but it's too hot to look for that level of citation.  What modern man likes apparently hasn't changed over the centuries, they like it easy and fast and cut and dried and fun.  If you don't believe that, look at what isn't being produced in theaters as they redo the same crap that sold before.   If that has something to do with what gets read and what doesn't, I haven't figured out.   I'm not interested in quick and easy when quick and easy doesn't work to understand what's important.  I'm about totally done with that.  I don't think anything important is going to happen through it, notice how wildly successful German satire was at preventing Hitler, it's only good for keeping what's important from happening. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Green Jeans - Ed Cherry - Kyle Koehler - Sanah Kadoura

Ed Cherry - guitar - Kyle Koehler - organ - Sanah Kadoura - drums

Isfahan - Alessio Menconi - Kyle Koehler - Sanah Kadoura

Alessio Menconi, guitar
Kyle Koehler, organ,
Sanah Kadoura, drums

Hate Mail

I've pointed out several times that Tlaz is so clueless that she named herself after the Aztec goddess who eats shit, Tlazolteotl.  So I have no problem saying, shit in, shit out. 

Duncan Black's blog after about 2006 became useful mostly as a place where examples of why the left failed when it went college-based secular-atheist gather to spout stupidity and lies as they snipe at each other over tiny variations in their mutual delusion, repeat the clueless liturgies of secular-atheism, to brag about what they're having for lunch, what movies and TV shows they're watching, you know, the college-credentialed lazy geezer thing.  There are about four people who go there out of bad habit who aren't idiots but their continued participation there isn't the best thing about them. 

Duncan doesn't care, it's a money making vehicle into which he has to put minimal effort.  He doesn't care.  It does nothing. 

Abolish The Goddamned Caucuses Redress The Objections Of That Most Loyal Group, The Congressional Black Caucus Or Prepare to Meet Disaster Face On

I am a life long Democrat, the son and grandson of life long Democrats, I don't know what the party affiliation of my ancestors back farther than that goes but most of those who were here and citizens were Irish from Massachusetts and other places in New England so I've got a good guess that they were members of the Democratic Party as well.   I've got a deep stake in the success of the Democratic Party and am always interested in its internal politics, though I have to admit I wasn't paying attention to the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in Chicago which made the most sweeping change in the party rules governing presidential elections in a half century.   I didn't now about it till I did my semi daily check of the estimable Charles Pierce at Esquire where he wrote about his ambivalence about the results of that. 

He, as most of the people writing about it, concentrates on the de facto abandonment of the Super-delegate system that non-Democrat, Bernie Sanders' campaign made so much hay around in the last election to the enormous cost to the party, the country and the world.   While I also don't like the idea of the Super-delegates, most of them being of questionable status to hold such a position, their influence in actually determining the nomination was mostly a myth.  I would like someone to point to a single time that they swung the nomination to the person who didn't win the primaries and caucuses.

Oh, yes, the caucuses.  The goddamned caucuses which should have been abolished in the 19th century because those, the things which allowed Bernie Sanders and his followers to continue on, are blatantly anti-democratic and, as Pierce notes, unDemocratic, and an absymally awful way to pretend you're making a democratic choice for the presidential nomination.  I'd favor banning them altogether and won't stop speaking for their abolition on all of those bases, they are a prime vehicle - along with open primaries - for Republicans and Republican - now Putin sponsored spoilers to screw with the Democratic Party.  I was sitting next to the Bernie Sanders supporters table at our caucus in 2016, I heard the assholes who had minutes before changed their party affiliation from independent or Green (Greens always proudly announce their being part of that scumbag outfit) and heard them announce that if Bernie didn't get the nomination they would vote for Jill Stein. 

Abolish the goddamned caucuses, if state legislatures under Republican-fascist or deluded Democratic control won't do it through state law, the Democratic Party should make a rule that delegates chosen by caucus won't be seated and that those states will conduct Democrats ONLY primaries by mail-in ballot, on paper, with secure identification, etc.  No one who hasn't been a declared member of the Democratic Party for at least a half an hour before they cast a vote has any business choosing the Democratic Parties nominee for president.  If the idiot Republicans want to secure their nomination process against outsider ratfucking of the kind they conduct and sponsor, it's probably in their interest to do so.

The issues that are brought up in the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party lead to legitimate hard feelings among that most loyal, dependable, longstanding group in the Democratic Party, Black Voters, that alone will prove the Bernie bros and gals aren't worth it. I'd trade all of the Bernie or Busters of an increased incentive for Black Voters to turn out in the primaries and the election.  I said "Sanders Wing" but they're not a wing you can depend on to get you anywhere except backward.  The accounts of the Chicago meeting aren't encouraging on that issue.   There have to be not only attempts but real substantial provisions to honor and empower the long standing hard work of, most of all, the Congressional Black Caucus who are as disempowered by the "reform"of the Superdelegate system as the old white party hacks who have never been elected to public office, who lack that most legitimizing of all political credentials.  Many of the Bernie Sanders guys are legitimately seen as new white party hacks who have no more legitimacy, many less so, than the old white party hacks they whine about.

The effective addressing of the issues raised by the Congressional Black Caucus must not be put off.  That would be a far bigger disaster than having the Bernie Sanders faction do what they'll probably do when their guy doesn't win again, walk out and try to sandbag the legitimate nominee. 

Charles Pierce notes that the man who is certainly one of the two most decent of people to have ever gotten a major party nomination, George McGovern, admitted that the last reform he had such a major hand in had proven to be disastrous in the form of his disastrous run for president.  I think it's a cautionary tale on what happens when you listen to the whiny, undependable white, largely play-left. 

The other most decent man to have ever gotten a major party nomination was, of course, Jimmy Carter.  I remember the lefty-magazines and (mostly campus based) play-lefties were extremely resentful of Jimmy Carter and I'd guess a lot of them didn't vote for him, as, indeed, many of them voted for Barry Commoner in 1980 out of pique with the reality of Jimmy Carter as president.  I was one of those idiots who voted for Commoner that year, as I've said, I read the lefty-magazines.  I've gradually learned the lesson, through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, now Trump, that anyone who gets the Democratic nomination must be supported no matter how pissed off the angry kids got with what happened at this or that caucus.  They'll never grow up.  They haven't learned from the history of those Republican presidencies, they'll never learn.  I once thought Bernie Sanders would wise them up to things.  He won't, either.

Good Lord, Not That Lie That The Nazis Banned Haeckel Again!

In my opinion, Robert J. Richards of the University of Chicago, who I have read, is one of the most dishonest supposed scholars who writes in favor of the post-war Darwin myth, the lie in which he had nothing to do with the eugenics which, in indisputable fact, Darwin supported throughout the entire period after he first published his theory of natural selection.  Darwin supported what his own sons called "eugenics" after his cousin Francis Galton named the science he created out of natural selection, he supported Galton's eugenics as cited science.  Darwin supported what Galton said were his earliest eugenic writings and cited them positively in his own work, especially The Descent of Man.  He supported his own son's, George Darwin's early eugenic proposal published in that earliest source of of eugenic propaganda, Macmillan's magazine, for the involuntary dissolution of marriages if one of the couple were diagnosed with a mental illness, certainly one of the first proposed legal applications of natural selection and its logical product, eugenics, I'd guess the first one of those to be published.

If I put up links to support those points, the entire text would be red.

Most relevant in terms of Robert Richard's plaster St. Darwin propaganda, Darwin supported Ernst Heckel's eugenic and scientific-racist claims as science, lending them the kind of support that only Charles Darwin could give.  Those claims by Haeckel were made in Die Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (The History of Creation) a book which I believe Darwin praised beyond all of the contemporary works of science that he endorsed.  Darwin endorsed, accepted and also promoted, in the Descent of Man, in letters, etc.  the idea Haeckel introduced into the science of natural selection, the explicit claim that the extinction of named human ethnic groups would have a very healthy effect on those "superior" specimens that murdered them.  The kind of thing that most honest scholars of Ernst Haeckel will note marks him as one of the intellectual fathers of what would become, the very year of Haeckel's death, Nazism.  What has led some, such as Stephen Jay Gould to call Haeckel a proto-Nazi.

I suspect Robert Richards found that he couldn't get past Darwin's lavish endorsement of eugenics in Haeckel's work, up to and including what would become typical of Nazi ideology,  so Richards mounted a campaign to erect a phony Ernst Haeckel divorced from his proto-Nazi scientific claims and teachings, one which the Nazis rejected.  It worked so well for the focus of his style of revisionism, Darwin, why couldn't you peddle a de-Nazified Haeckel, as well?   It is one of the most blatantly dishonest things I've seen from recent decades, though it's hardly the only blatantly dishonest thing I've seen coming from men of science and academia who erected the post-war St. Darwin, the conventional allowable point of view within English language academic writing on this topic is chock full of lies that can be seen to be lies if one does that most basic of scholarly activities, reading the primary sources, especially the books and letters of Darwin, Haeckel, Galton, etc.  instead of relying on the frequently lying secondary, tertiary and more often cited sources in this area, the contribution of Darwinism to the Nazi genocides.  You have to go to the original sources as the secondary literature is so often dishonest in this area, especially that published after World War II.  Before the war I have not found any credible (or even less than credible) sources who make those dishonest claims.

One example of that which has been spread is the claim that the Nazis banned Haeckel's books when they were published and republished all through the Nazi period, many of the scientific figures in Nazism and those who had had a scientific education were students of Haeckel or specifically cited Haeckel's work as influencing their thinking.  Considering the number of those in the Nazi scientific establishment who had gone to The University of Jena, a place where Haeckel worked and where his influence and that of Darwinism was probably strongest*, it would be hard for that to not be true.  And Nazi publications published articles praising Ernst Haeckel in the most telling of terms.  Or, as I wrote in an update to a piece on this very topic of Haeckel revisionism flowing from Robert Richards:

Still gassing on about the alleged Nazi banning of all mention of Darwin and Haeckel?  I really don't have time to go looking to see if I can find it online but it would seem rather odd if they did, considering this from four years after the alleged banning of their books.

The official Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, published a tribute to Ernst Haeckel on the twentieth anniversary of Haeckel's death in August 1939. The article was entitled, "Um die Abstammung des Menschen: Zum 20. Jahrestage Ernst Haeckels" ("On the Descent of Man: For the Twentieth Anniversary of Ernst Haeckel['s death]"). The title and the article clearly avowed belief in human evolution and praised Haeckel for his evolutionary ideas.

Volkischer Beobachter was the official Nazi newspaper overseen by the Nazi head of propaganda, the vehemently anti-Christian, Alfred Rosenberg.   "Abstammung des Menschen" is, of course, the title that Victor Carus gave to his translation of Darwin's second major book on evolution, The Descent of Man, the book in which he said that if he had seen Ernst Haeckel's book, Naturlischer Schopfungsgeschichte before he'd gotten very far into the writing of Descent of Man, he probably wouldn't have finished his book because he was in pretty much complete agreement with everything Haeckel had said. 

*  It was a short post, for my posts on this topic, so I'll just re-post my piece of September 20, 2017

I am delighted to hear that you uphold the doctrine of the Modification of Species, and defend my views. The support which I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will ultimately prevail.

Charles Darwin, letter to William Thierry Preyer, March 31, 1868

This part of your imposing investigations being free from arbitrary opinions (which it is impossible to avoid in any treatise on the origin of mankind) is sure, I think, to extend and to confirm Darwinism in the scientific world. Besides Jena there is no University in Germany where your theory is so openly confessed and publicly taught by so many professors. Häckel, Gegenbaur, Dohrn, Strasburger, W. Müller, myself: we are true Darwinians, in our lectures and writings

William Preyer,  letter to C. Darwin  April 27, 1871

Try an experiment, google "University of Jena hotbed of Nazi ideology" and see how many times the words come up. 

As to the current,  apparently blog-based myth that the Nazis banned Darwinism, that is totally contradicted by the fact that most of Ernst Haeckel's works - including those which Darwin, himself, said represented his thinking, most notably Die Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte  - were still being published in Nazi Germany right up to the end of the Nazi period.  Such eminent Nazi academics as Karl Astel, the Darwinist geneticist and rector at the University of Jena - just about all of the biologists, anthropologists, etc. in Germany who held their positions all during the Nazi period were Darwinists - was one of the founders of the Ernst Haeckel Society during the war, in 1941.  He and the co-founder of the society, Gerhard Heberer (both a conventional Darwinian biologist and an SS officer)  invited high placed Nazis to be honorary members of it.  One of those, Nazi Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel, wrote to Martin Bormann and Alfred Rosenberg to get their approval, which they gave. 

That myth is a blatant lie which depends on the obscurity, in English, of the disproof of it but that barrier is going to be less useful to telling those as that disproof is translated and publicized in English.  It also depends on the ignorance of historical and text-based scholarship by people who, somehow, get college credentials without ever learning how those work.  And, surprisingly, not all of them seem to come from the STEM subjects.  Though those who should know better might just be telling convenient lies.

Update:  Looking at my notes, I forgot one of the most obvious proofs that the Nazis didn't ban Haeckel or his books, in 1939 the Nazi Ministry of Education funded the renovation of the previously somewhat neglected Haeckel Haus, the primary house-museum and archive dedicated to the elevation of Ernst Haeckel as a figure in science and culture.  Its director at the time, Victor Franz, was effusive in his thanks to the Nazi Ministry for reviving the reputation and position of Ernst Haeckel at the time.  

I have seen things claimed on atheist and science blogs online that I don't think came from Robert Richards distortion and outright lies about his guy, Haeckel, but a lot of it obviously originated in his hagiographic biography, A Tragic Sense of Life.  If you want to see the evidence of the proto-Nazi quality of Haeckel's Darwinism, all you have to do is read the books I've cited here, The History of Creation (translated into English by one of Darwin's closest associates, Ray Lankester)  The Riddle of Life (translated by one of the early Brit professional atheists, Joseph McCabe) and many of his other writings most of which are either available in the original German or in accurate English translation by his and Darwin's admirers.   The distortions of Richards' version of Haeckel and, even more so, that current on atheist-sciency blogs, are obvious as are his advocating ideas which the Nazis later took up and put into practice in their genocides.  I've seen some claim that Haeckel was the one to introduce the idea of infanticide of the disabled into mainstream German scientific discourse, it's certainly one of the things which the Nazis practiced, as is Haeckel's advocacy for murdering the disabled of all ages.